OPTIMISTIC: Lismore Produce Markets president Frank Boyle, also from Nimbin Valley Pecans, is confident of a future for the markets.
OPTIMISTIC: Lismore Produce Markets president Frank Boyle, also from Nimbin Valley Pecans, is confident of a future for the markets. Cathy Adams

Move to relocate markets

LISMORE'S much-loved CBD night markets may be relocated from Magellan St if a motion to limit their impact on CBD traders be passed in this month's council meeting.

Under the proposed motion, mooted by councillors Neil Marks and Graham Meineke, the market could be prevented from opening before 5pm and stalls selling take-away food and coffee might be banned.

The controversy has emerged from a section of CBD retailers who say the market has failed to bring more business to the rest of the CBD, and in some cases taken customers away.

Chris Knight from the Satay Hut says he's taken surveys which prove people are going specifically to the markets, purchasing their goods, and then leaving - having little or no impact on the wider CBD.

"The markets were put there to bring people to town businesses, and that's not happening," Mr Knight said.

"Ostensibly they're meant to be selling local produce, but as of last night, they had stalls selling take-away coffee, satay sticks, curry and rice."

He's disappointed in council for "sneaking through" the DA for the market under a temporary events application and unfairly subsidising associated costs.

"It's been heavily subsidised, up to a point they had free advertising and free electricity... it gives them a pretty unfair advantage over day traders," he said.

Yet CBD trader Jess Connor from Lavish Floral Design

disagrees. She purposely relocated her business to Magellan St to capture street traffic from the

market.

"I have a lot more people coming through just because they're outside... they didn't realise I was even there until they came to the markets," she said.

"I would be very disappointed if the market was moved away from my shop, it has definitely increased business a lot for me."

Cr Marks said the possible motion was not an "anti-market thing", rather to allow council to "regain control" of its policy on markets if they were not working as envisioned.

"Council wanted markets to get people into the CBD - the markets were meant to bring people to the businesses, not the businesses bringing people to the markets - if that's not working council needs a tool to say: 'how can we change this'," he said.



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