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City of Greater Geraldton to take possession of vacant Mercantile Club

Matthew PaddickMidwest Times
Geraldton's Mercantile Club is set to be repossessed by the city due to multiple years of no rate payments.
Camera IconGeraldton's Mercantile Club is set to be repossessed by the city due to multiple years of no rate payments. Credit: Matthew Paddick

The City of Greater Geraldton is set to claim possession of the Mercantile Club building on Marine Terrace after years of inactivity.

A notice was put on the doors of the club saying the council had taken possession of the land last week.

The club in its peak periods attracted hundreds of people to its pub but has not been in operation in recent times.

According to City of Greater Geraldton mayor Jerry Clune, the club had not paid its rates for several years.

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“Because those rates haven’t been met under the guidelines which the local government operates under, the city had to take legal matters and serve a notice,” he said.

Mr Clune said the city had made attempts to contact the group, but to no avail.

“There’s no spokesperson for the club,” he said.

“They haven’t had a general manager for several years and no one to speak for it, which is where the problem lies with the city.

“They haven’t been able to contact anyone or get a resolution.”

A fire tore through the historic building in 2022, leaving a damage bill of $1 million.

According to the Local Government Act 1995, the city can take one of four actions when rates have not been paid for three or more years.

It can lease the land from time to time, sell the land, or transfer it to the Crown or to itself.

The city has opted to take possession of the land and is set to make a decision on what to do with it when it is confirmed.

Mr Clune said the process could take up to 12 months, but thought the building was in “a prime location” for potential investors.

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