Concerns Mandurah could be left benchless arise as City ends contract with supplier

Some City of Mandurah councillors raised concerns that the City could be left benchless after ending its contract with the supplier. Photo: Claire Sadler.
Some City of Mandurah councillors raised concerns that the City could be left benchless after ending its contract with the supplier. Photo: Claire Sadler.

Streetside Advertising will no longer have the contract to supply benches and sell advertising on them after the City of Mandurah ended its contract with the supplier.

With the 10 year contract set to end on November 28, some councillors raised concerns that Mandurah could be left benchless.

However, Mayor Rhys Williams said the decision was just a "contractual matter".

With the contract not able to be extended past its end date, the council voted last month not to renew its contract with Streetside Advertising and also voted to examine the effectiveness of benchseat advertising.

Councillor Merv Darcy says the report should've come to council sooner. Photo: File image.

Councillor Merv Darcy says the report should've come to council sooner. Photo: File image.

Councillor Merv Darcy said the decision to end the contract should've come to council earlier.

"I just find it absolutely incredible that we find ourselves in a situation like this that tenders weren't called earlier," he said.

"We have a supplier that's got $700,000 worth of seating who could remove it.

"Small businesses rely on bus signage for advertising because they are on little side streets off the main road."

Cr Darcy called for the decision to be deferred.

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Under the current contract, the supplier owns the seats, donates five per year to the City, and pays $5000 per year to the City.

Streetside Advertising director Rod Hicks spoke against the motion in a deputation to council on October 27.

"At the end of the contract 734 seats remain property of Streetside," he said.

"There is a community impact about what's going to happen to the seats - a very large number of them are bus stops.

"Eighty per cent of 1.3 million people aren't going to have somewhere to sit if we take the seats out -and we don't want to take the seats out."

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Mr Williams said while he understood the "angst" a decision needed to be made.

"The contract has been extended to the point where it can't be anymore," he said.

"My reason for moving the motion tonight is clear and that is that the contract ends.

"While I understand the level of frustration I would ask you tonight to give officers clear guidance in terms of the way forward and lets commit to undertaking the review."

With the motion passed, the City is currently developing a strategic approach to signage and consider how the bench seats may be used to promote community messaging, art work, tourist attractions or events.