Insurance costs force Calliope market to fold
INSURANCE costs have forced the Calliope Indoor Markets to fold.
For the last two years, Gladstone Regional Council has covered their public liability insurance but a routine investigation found the market was not wholly complying with the council's insurance agreement and so the deal was taken off the table.
Individual market stallholders were told they needed to get insurance if they wanted to have a stall.
Only seven stallholders did that. Organiser Jessica Charles said the fees, which start at $200, just weren't affordable.
"A lot of (them) use the market as a hobby and can't justify forking out hundreds of dollars for insurance each year," Ms Charles said.
Judy Finlay, a regular stallholder and famous for her jams and relishes, has sold her goods at stalls for more than 30 years. Now, she says, she has nowhere to go.
Since she moved to the Gladstone region she has been a regular at many markets including the ones at the Boyne Valley, Gladstone and Calliope. But the need for a commercial kitchen to make her jams and relishes lead her to look at other crafts to make and sell.
She turned to creating hand knitted goods and sold them at the Calliope Indoor Market.
Ms Finlay's friend Gayle Black would take her to the markets, where she would catch up with people. It was a morning out.
"It was lovely to go out and catch up with friends and meet new people. We are all very disappointed. The times Gayle and I went there we had a truly lovely time.
"I'm at a loss now. There are no other markets I can actually go to."
Just like Judy, stallholders Stacey Hawkins and Sue Harrison, will now have to look elsewhere to sell their goods.
Stacey Hawkins sells Scentsy products and Sue Harrison, aroma therapy goods.
Ms Charles said she was really excited for this year's markets.
"We had changed the format so it would run on Sunday mornings."
Stacey Hawkins and Sue Harrison have been market regulars for the last 12 months. The pair has insurance; they said the atmosphere and the location of the indoor markets made them special.
"It's so local, that's the main thing," Ms Harrison said. "We need something casual but also as a way to get our business names out there."
A statement from the council said "Council's insurer will not cover the use of Council facilities for commercial activities by individuals, incorporated bodies, not for profit bodies, sporting clubs or associations of any kind regardless of whether profit is made or if all profits are donated".
The decision has now put an end to the region's cheapest market.
Fees for the stalls were $7, which covered costs of advertising and hall hire costs for Ms Charles.
Already stallholders are looking elsewhere to sell their goods, including empty shop spaces and other community halls in Calliope.
They hope to soon have something more definite.
WHILE Calliope will lose one of its community markets, there are still others offered around the region.
BAM is held from 2 - 7pm on Saturday. It's being held today; the first for the year.
The Calliope Historical Village markets will be held tomorrow from 8am - noon.
Other markets in the Gladstone region:
What: Rotary Kmart
When: 6am-noon (starting back January 17, third Sunday of every month)
What: Library Square Markets
When: 7am-noon (second and fourth Saturday of the month)
What: PCYC Markets
When: 8am-noon (second Sunday of the month)
- TANNUM SANDS
What: Beach Arts Music
When: 2pm-7pm (first Saturday of the month)
What: Biloela Markets in the Park
When: 8am-2pm (third Saturday of the month)
- MIRIAM VALE
What: Miriam Vale Lions' Markets in the Park
When: 6am-noon (third Saturday of the month)
- AGNES WATER
What: Discovery Coast
When: 8am-noon (second and fourth Sunday of the month)
What: Calliope Historical Village Markets
When: 8am-1pm once a month