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May 17, 2021

Produce market causing storm in a coffee cup

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A Lismore CBD business owner challenged Lismore City Council (LCC) to crack down on the sale of hot food and coffee at the Thursday night produce market in Magellan Street

Addressing council during community access on Tuesday evening, Chris Knight revealed that the market’s licence, which was was granted on 8 June 2011 had expired at midnight 8 June 2013.

Mr Knight said that throughout the licence period council had ‘deemed itself powerless to prevent the sale of hot food and coffee at the fresh produce market.’

‘Given the lack of consultation to and the lack of support for businesses of the CBD on this issue, and the fact that there is hot food and coffee available as close as five metres (from the market), from shops who are paying genuine rates, when is the council going to address this ridiculous situation?’ he asked.

Executive director of sustainable development Brent McAlister responded to the claim.

‘I was talking to our development and compliance manager Peter Jeuken on this matter. I was advised that the Magellan Street market approval actually expires next week and it is intended to review it up until the Special Events Policy is reviewed which will be at the end of the year,’ he said.

‘It is not appropriate to outlaw the serving of food and hot coffee until that policy is in place.’

Mr Knight reinforced his knowledge of the market approval expiring on 8 June 2013, offering documents as evidence to the council. He requested the mayor place an interim order between now and when the policy comes before council, which mayor Dowell did not take up.

At a recent Chamber of Commerce meeting, Mr Knight said that a ‘senior council staff member responded to a question about high Lismore CBD business rates saying “businesses should expect to pay premium prices for a premium place”.’

Mr Knight closed his address by asking council to review ‘the meagre fees currently being charged to the Lismore produce market for their premium space and power?’

His request was put on notice.

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