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Byron Shire
April 19, 2021

Byron markets battle to keep their Butler Street home

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Byron Farmers’ Market treasurer Kaye Shadbolt, along with local producers Liz and Bob Gray, handed 540 submissions to Council staffer Phil Holloway on Friday. Photo contributed.
Byron Farmers’ Market treasurer Kaye Shadbolt, along with local producers Liz and Bob Gray, handed 540 submissions to Council staffer Phil Holloway on Friday. Photo contributed.

Byron Farmers’ Market management have been quick to act upon news they could be booted from Butler Street, and last week handed over 540 individual submissions, which were garnered over three weeks.

Additionally, a letter has been sent to councillors and staff expressing ‘alarm’ at being treated as a ‘secondary consideration in Byron Shire Council’s focused push towards establishing Butler Street Reserve as a paid parking site.’

It comes after a recent meeting with general manager Ken Gainger, which was instigated by market managers.

The letter also reads, ‘We believe there has not been adequate, open-minded consultation by council with stallholders and their committee, and none at all with the users of the market – the people of Byron Bay.’

‘We certainly do not agree with the council staff view that, “This co-existence however would present various complications for all parties with competing interests and demands and likely misunderstanding on what days and times general car parking operates and does not; all of which adds to difficultly of enforcement and management.”

‘The pace and the blinkered approach to this issue are deeply worrying for our members, who feel they are being railroaded. The market managers believe that a compromise based on coexistence at the site is the best solution.

‘At present, a third of customers – both local and tourist – either walk or cycle to buy their produce. That stream of business would dry up.’

Mayor Simon Richardson told The Echo that discussions are ongoing and hopes for an equitable outcome.

He referred to European towns, where markets are held in the main streets, as a possible solution.

Exploring options

Council issued a press release on Monday saying it will ‘continue to explore how the markets can co-exist with a pay parking scheme in place or identify at least equally appropriate sites within the town centre.’

 


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