Owners Rod and Renee Fitzgerald were working on finishing touches to the establishment’s new Woolner location when the NT Fire and Rescue Service’s Community Fire Safety Command closed it last week.
Mr Fitzgerald voiced his concerns at the NT intune music conference and said a misunderstanding affected Darwin’s whole live music scene.
“It was a building certification issue … I was under the impression we were all good to go (when we opened), but there’s been a bit of a stuff-up and we’ve been caught with our pants down,” he said.
Mr Fitzgerald has spoken with government departments about moving to resolve the problem. He said following due process was already dashing hopes of a quick revival.
“Everything’s so overregulated, we can’t get an answer or resolution for anything,” he said. “This could take months and months and months, and tens of thousands of dollars.”
John Wardle from Live Music Office, a policy advocate for Australian live music, said the closure was an unnecessary blow to Darwin’s scene.
It is believed the closure came following an application for a licence extension.
The Community Fire Safety Command was unable to provide comment.
The Chippo moved to Woolner in 2014 after being given marching orders from its previous location in Coconut Grove.
Image/Article NT News KATINA VANGOPOULOS