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Byron Shire
April 16, 2024

Byron’s market criteria get a make-over

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Everyone reads The Echo – 10 April, 2024

The letters deadline for The Echo is noon Friday. Letters longer than 200 words may be cut. The publication of letters is at the discretion of the letters editor.

After last month’s crowded community forum at the Byron Community Centre about the shire’s markets the council has amended and re-released the assessment criteria within the Draft Expression of Interest for Markets. They are now available online for comment.

But the Save Byron Shire Markets Action Group has called for a cost/benefit analysis of the markets.

Speaking about the meeting, councillor Simon Richardson said, ‘The message was very clear from the meeting. The assessment criteria needed to demonstrate stronger support for local providers and community organisations.’

He said the new criteria include a 20 per cent weighting of knowledge of local market culture, and 10 per cent each for commitment to socially and environmentally responsible operations.

‘The Shire is well known for its vibrant market culture and the new Expression of Interest (EOI) criteria will help ensure the much loved markets retain their character,’ Cr Richardson said.

Mayor Jan Barham also said that despite the changes, an expression-of-interest process will still need to be held for markets run on public land.

She urged everyone involved with the market community to read the new documents.

‘Even if a person has made a submission on the first version, and did not support the documents, read the second draft and let us know.

‘It is valuable to have clarity from the community on the different versions of the assessment criteria for the draft Expression of Interest, to make an informed decision on behalf of the community prior to seeking interest from possible market managers.’

Mayor Barham added that any money raised through the operation of a market on a Crown Reserve, including leasing or licensing part of a reserve, will be spent on improving and maintaining the land and or other Crown Reserves.

Meanwhile, the Save Byron Shire Markets Action Group – which is calling on Council for a cost/benefit analysis of the markets – claim that the asset is the land, not the markets.

‘Again, Council seem to have lost sight of the fact that the markets are not the asset here,’ the group said in a press release.

‘Rather, it is the use of the land that should be considered.’

They claim that Byron could follow Ballina Shire, ‘where the first three markets could be limited to operation by not-for-profit community organisations.’

The new draft documents are available at community access points around the Shire or on Council’s website at http://www.byron.nsw.gov.au/public-exhibition#node-41758.

Submissions should be in writing and addressed to the General Manager, Byron Shire Council, PO Box 219 Mullumbimby 2482 or emailed to [email protected]. Emailed submissions to this address only will be acknowledged.

The full list of Byron Council’s amended criteria are as follows:

Council reserves the right to accept or reject any or all submissions or any part thereof, in any

combination that Council in their absolute discretion determine, including the rejection of all


(a) sample draft plan of management, including stallholders and product criteria, safety and

site management (20%)

(b) experience in the activity and of meeting licence conditions (20%)

(c) knowledge of local market culture (20%)

(d) experience and/or commitment to environmentally responsible operations and initiatives (10%)

(e) experience in and/or commitment to socially responsible operations and initiatives as

per Council’s Policy 09/008 ‘Social Impact Assessment Policy’ (10%)

(f) licence fee (10%)

(g) commitment to Public Value Objectives contained in Council’s Policy 5.51 ‘Markets on Council Owned and/or Controlled Land’ (10%)

(i) small business

(ii) tourism

(iii) employment

(iv) registered charities and/or incorporated not-for-profit associations

(v) art, craft and cultural heritage/sustainable agriculture.

The documents are on public exhibition from 22 December 2011 until 27 January 2012.

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