Cr Kahn Goodluck.Photo Paul Braven / The Observer
Cr Kahn Goodluck.Photo Paul Braven / The Observer Paul Braven GLA050416COUNCIL

'Really uncomfortable': Uncertain future for popular event

THE question of whether closing off the whole of Goondoon St to host the Gladstone City Farmer's markets was worth the money it costs to hire traffic controllers was raised at yesterday's council meeting.

Rules put in place by Gladstone Regional Council means a market of its size requires a standard safety requirement of traffic controllers costing $15,000.

Deputy Mayor Chris Trevor was stumped over the council's own regulations, and suggested they move the markets to the underground parking at the Gladstone Entertainment Convention Centre and avoiding closing the street.

Deputy mayor Chris Trevor wants the council to be run like a business.
Deputy mayor Chris Trevor wants the council to be run like a business. Paul Braven

But Cr Trevor also questioned the entire need for the markets, and said projects of their type made him feel "really uncomfortable".

He said couldn't shake the feeling that the Gladstone City Farmer's markets were taking away from local businesses.

"What if, by allowing stallholders to operate from the city, we are taking away from our local businesses who also sell fresh produce but cannot for some reason have a stall?" he questioned.

"By building this project up we could be tearing down other businesses, the brick and mortar of our town, by allowing out-of-town stallholders to sell here."

But Cr Kahn Goodluck argued against this and said the markets did the opposite, and encouraged people on Goondoon St attending the markets, to drop into businesses on the street.

He also said holding them in an underground park would defeat the purpose.

"The whole point of the City Farmer's Markets is that they are held in the city - not in some dark, gloomy carpark," Cr Goodluck said.

"I think they are a great idea and for just $15,000 annually, we are bringing in an extra 2500 people a month to the CBD."

He said the point of the markets was to bring people "out in the open".

Last month the council announced they would no longer manage the event. They put out expressions of interest for someone to take them over.

At yesterday's committee meeting the council chose Kelli Jackson, owner of Gladstone business KType Creative to manage the event.

She was one of two tenders for the markets.

The decision has to be ratified at next week's general meeting.



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