Market to market
Going on exhibition this week is the new draft policy for the local markets. Over the last few weeks all markets in the Shire have joined together to become the Byron Shire Markets Action Network. I urge you all to have a look at this policy while it is on display and put in your comments to council. There are some disturbing elements in this draft which could effect the future of ALL markets (including the farmers markets) in the Shire.
Following are some of the differences between existing policy and the new one:
The current policy objectives support charities and the new one is to support small business. I take it this means the running of the markets and this could easily change the essence of what is loved about our markets if run by a group who do not understand what makes the market tick. The original words ‘support local production for local consumption’ have also been left out altogether, leaving a way for outsiders to more easily be part of the markets. All of these changes could lead to a totally different market experience and one akin to the franchise shopping that the town centre is now providing (although there are still many interesting shops left in Byron that I love).
The specific wording for definition of the Artisan Markets (which thankfully were reinstated) leaves out the fact that it is run by a not-for-profit community association (Byron Community Centre). Supposedly this is to install another group to run it and the same is so for the community and farmers markets where the not-for-profit community org has been left out again. For the farmers market the local element has been left out and the wording ‘Produce purchased for resale is not permitted at the market’ has been dropped altogether. This could mean anything can be sold, as their wording is ‘food producers can sell their own and others’ produce’. This is leaving it open to more processed foods coming into the marketplace. Is that what we want at the farmers markets? Not me!
The elements we love in our markets could be totally lost if this wording is to go ahead. I cannot understand how Council is letting this happen; so far against these changes are Jan Barham, Simon Richardson, Richard Staples and Tom Tabart We thank them for taking that stand. According to the new policy the management of the markets no longer has to be a community-based charity, where net profits are directed back into the community to the most beneficial places. The financial audit and financial records accountability have been dropped and the allocation of stalls no longer favours local residents. It could be up for grabs for anyone to have a stall.
Worst of all Council has dropped the wording: ‘Market Management must give priority to locally grown, home-produced, crafted or recycled goods produced in Byron Shire and surrounding regions. The ongoing implementation of this Policy will continue to increase the Local community content.’
Council gave this a big N/A. This could ruin the unique and special feel of our markets.
If you want to maintain these wonderful local markets please read the new policy once it goes on display from 27 October till 24 November and voice your opinions. They are your markets too!
Animal road toll
Sustainable Street residents, from Tristran Parade, in Mullumbimby Creek, have formed a partnership with the Shearwater School to continue bringing awareness regarding road killing in Left Bank Road.
From 12 months of data collection: 55 animals were killed, out of 21 different species. Last Friday at 1:55pm, class 6 students met under the wildlife watch zone sign, in front of number 312, to document the event. The students have made rainbow crosses to be placed in farm fences in hot spots like the stretch between Brushbox Road and Tristran Parade, where a lot of swamp hens and bandicoot have been killed.
With the crosses, the sign and data collection, we hope we can reduce the number of wildlife road killing by touching people’s hearts. The crosses are so beautiful; some of them are covered in little flowers. The whole school is invited to help to collect data by reporting any road kill to Jane Wickers, [email protected] Please record species, date, location.
The signs are an initiative of the Mullumbimby Creek Sustainable Streets group and Byron Shire Council.
Unfortunately, someone has been removing the crosses set up by year 6 last year. Perhaps, some help from our local media would help educate locals.
Nadia de Souza Pietramale
Tristran Parade Sustainable Street coordinator 6684 4771