Producers say they are still as determined as ever to bring a market to Banna Avenue, even though the idea was rejected by Griffith City Council.
Council rejected it in December on the grounds it would conflict with the Rotary Club of Griffith’s existing Sunday markets and siphon business from shops on the main street while on public land.
The motion to reject the idea was put forward by councillors Mike Neville and Doug Curran "due to the venture being commercial in nature and operating on public land on a regular basis".
The rejection hasn’t deterred the stallholders of the Rotary Club’s Sunday markets, who say they are barely selling enough to get by at their current location.
When the market was moved from the eastern side of town to the showgrounds, stallholder Ray Pagano said he saw a huge drop-off in turnover.
“A lot of people don’t even know we’re here,” Mr Pagano said.
“Nobody comes here - it’s a pain to see.”
Now he wants to see a Saturday market either at Memorial Park or at the Visitor Centre carpark in a bid to boost flagging sales.
He said Banna Avenue would make for a better location for a market, being close to the centre of town and more visible to passing traffic.
He wants to hold the Saturday market alongside the Sunday market, but other stallholders want to move the Sunday market to Banna Avenue altogether.
One of them is vegetable grower Shane Armanini, who said his unsold vegetables ended up as pig-food.
Mr Armanini has put up his stalls in other towns that held their markets in the centre of town, and he said the markets always brought a bit of life to the town centre to the benefit of both the stallholders and the shops.
He said he was confident a Banna Avenue market would be a big hit, given the groundswell of public support he had seen on The Area News Facebook page.
He said that he and the other stallholders would be happy to work with Rotary to make a market on Banna Avenue a reality.
But Rotary Club of Griffith president Reginald Erskine said he was insistent on making sure the Sunday markets at the showgrounds were here to stay. “Council are not going to support that idea, not in a million years,” Mr Erskine said.
“It will interfere with the other businesses, and the Memorial Park is a sacred place that shouldn’t be used for commercial activity.”
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