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Byron Shire
May 12, 2021

Market stallholders need consulting – Greens MP

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Greens education spokesperson and MP for Ballina, Tamara Smith.
Greens MP for Ballina, Tamara Smith.

Mayor Simon Richardson has been called upon be his fellow state government counterpart to consult with the market stall holder group who are opposed to moving from the Butler Street Reserve. 

Council recently announced their intention to move the monthly markets farmers’ markets while a transit hub is built, yet that location decision has not even been finalised.

Adding to the project’s disarray, residents have expressed their anger that there has been no consultation.

There have been no costings provided by Transport for NSW and Council staff were accused of trying to force councillors into a quick decision on its design. 

Two groups represent the monthly community market stallholders, and the the market is managed by the Byron Bay Community Centre. The BBCC’s manager is councillor Paul Spooner, who has also been accused of ignoring the Rainbow Region Stallholders Association’s concerns.

In a November 29 letter, Ms Smith asked Cr Richardson to meet with the stallholders from the Rainbow Region Stallholders Association. 

She wrote, ‘You pointed out at the public meeting that you had met with members of the independent stallholders, but that you have not met anyone from the Rainbow Region Stallholders Association – who I believe comprise the majority of the stallholders.’

She continued: ‘I believe it is incumbent upon us as elected representatives in a democracy to afford procedural fairness to all members of the community we represent.

‘Can you please meet with the representatives… as soon as possible.’

Independent Byron Community Markets Committee member Ian Brown claims he has well over 200 signatures from stallholders stating they do not want to move from their location. There are an estimated 300-350 stallholders,

MLC Ben Franklin has told Echonetdaily that he has written to the transport minister requesting that the Cavanbah Centre be considered instead for a transport hub.

NB This story was later changed to reflect that Ian Brown is a member of the Byron Community Markets Committee.

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  1. By the time the Greens council is done with them the traumatized stallholders will need counseling. Most of them would have voted Green.

    The Byron Bay Greens are doing serious damage to the Greens brand. Hence Ms Smith’s intervention.

    Although they are worthy causes, all the talk about Koalas and refugees won’t cut it forever. More and more people are coming to see through Green archetypes and self-serving myths.Realizing that underneath the linen shirts and yoga pants they are the neo-liberal lite

  2. “She continued: ‘I believe it is incumbent upon us as elected representatives in a democracy to afford procedural fairness to all members of the community we represent.”

    Thank you for spotlighting Tamara it is appreciated, my fingers are crossed, I’m hoping to see some transparency manifest.

  3. Imagine the outcry if 350 businesses in town were told they had to move because of a proposed development. Mind you, nothing’s finalised, but it’s inconvenient to have you here while we make up our minds, so you’ll have to go. Yet stallholders are not given the courtesy of explanation or consultation. Thankyou Tamara Smith for being a voice of reason and democracy, to at least allow us to be heard. Many of us are engaged in small businesses which feed families, pay mortgages, school fees, are ratepayers in the Byron Shire and feeling vulnerable to the change. Our little businesses contribute a major part of the income towards the Byron Community Centre, to do good things in the community. We are a community market after all. Is it wrong to try and save our home? Some of us play the Masterplan game, others play politics, I’ve decided to play the “save Butler St Reserve” game. Keep it a greenspace, move the traffic further out of town, bus station included, restore the rail service (it’s called public transport), and make a beautiful greenspace in town. Apart from beaches, what else do we have?

  4. and yet another instance were the people are not being heard. Why and how do the people in power believe that they know better? Vision is one thing but listening to the people is quite another.


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