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Fly By Night’s future under threat

11 Jun

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Fremantle‘s Fly By Night Musicians Club could be in jeopardy of losing their venue, the Military Drill Hall, due to the lease expiring. This follows the recent closure of Kulcha, also in Fremantle, which was an organisation dedicated to promoting multicultural arts. To help their cause you can sign a petition here.

To explain more about the situation from their view, the Fly By Night Musicians Club recently sent out the following letter to members and subscribers:

Dear Members,

The current lease for the Military Drill Hall is due to expire in September 2014; The Fly By Night Musicians Club has been attempting to renegotiate the lease with The National Trust since June 2012.

On the 15th April 2014 the Club received notification from the National Trust WA (with recommendation from their Finance and Audit Committee) that they would be advertising for Expressions of Interest regarding the new lease for the Military Drill Hall, and that the Fly by Night Musicians Club is encouraged to submit an application. In previous years the lease has been renegotiated without the threat of competing expressions of interest.

According to the National Trust, the Fly By Night Musicians Club lease expires in September 2014. However, the drafted lease document was not completely signed off until six months later indicating the lease does not actually expire until the end of February 2015. Clarification on this issue has been requested to no avail.

Currently the National Trust has advised the Club not to book acts after September 2014, or until the process is completed, which threatens the livelihood of the business.

The Club’s Board of Directors have written to the National Trust to organise an urgent meeting to discuss these matters, and to reiterate that the Club has expressed its interest and desire to continue use of the Military Drill Hall as the Fly by Night Musicians Club since June 2012. It is now June 2014 and no meeting has taken place. The Club has had no discussion or explanation of future plans for the military drill hall, or any direction in reference to the EOI process.

The Club will be keeping the members and stakeholders notified of any future development, and will be informing the local and state government and opposition, of the National Trust’s current lack of transparency in regard to the management of the Military Drill Hall.

Time Line
1896 Military Drill Hall
1986 Fly by Night Musicians Club
1998 -2005 State of Western Australia (The State) Lease with Minster for Works
2005 Deed of Surrender of Lease 17 February 2005
2000 National Trust Management of Military Drill Hall
2001 – 2007 Lease Agreement with National Trust (No Expression of Interest)
2007 – 2014 Lease Agreement with National Trust (no Expression of Interest)
2007 Fly by Night Musicians Club Commercial Lease 7 Years 12 September 2014(Not approved or signed off on by Fly Board until February 2008 or signed by the Department of Lands Minister until 20 March 2008).
2010 Market Review (2010 Independently Assessed rental value $50,000) rental increase from $21,420 per annum to $35,000 per annum from 12 September 2011
August 2013 Fly by Night
2012/2013 Department of Culture and the Arts (Rental Assistance via Fly by Night to the National Trust) Notified January 2013 Funding Ending November 2013.
2014 – April Notice of Expression of Interest.
2014 – September (Advised not to book events by National Trust.)

More info here.

Government of Western Australia Department of Culture and The Arts Australian Government

WAM is supported by the State Government through the Department of Culture and the Arts, and is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.