Outrage over market proposal

Councillor Greg Barnes
Councillor Greg Barnes Scottie Simmonds

A MARKET proposed for the Bargara foreshore has one business owner outraged about the potential damage it could do to his business.

Bundaberg Regional Council had in November approved the establishment of a market on the Bargara foreshore.

But that approval was denied by the Department of Environment and Resource Management because it was a commercial venture, which was against the management plan of the national park.

On Thursday, business owners around Bargara received a letter asking them to offer their support to the proposed venture.

Bargara Beach Convenience Store owner Darryl Harmer said the letter claimed the market would offer the town economic benefits.

But he felt markets would just add to the competition in a climate already tough for small businesses.

"They are going to try and sell hats and crafts and t-shirts and the stuff that we are trying to sell at the moment," he said.

Mr Harmer was also sceptical about creating a new market, after the Windmill Markets failed to attracted crowds to the area.

"We already have a market and that has not attracted many people to the area," he said.

The foreshore is in the division held by Councillor Greg Barnes, who said the council had been reviewing the management plan of the area.

He said a meeting was held on Friday to discuss what was happening about the market.

"The application has been amended to move the market to the Nielson Park (area), near the surf club," he said.

Cr Barnes said the market would go through extensive public consultation.

But he believed the market, expected to have about 100 stalls, would attract more visitors to Bargara.

"It will get a lot more people walking along in that main street area," he said.

Cr Barnes said even places like McDonald's opening would attract a lot more foot traffic to the area.

He said businesses had supported the markets originally, but he could understand a change in attitude.

"I guess people are starting to find it a bit tougher."

Topics:  bargara bundaberg business economy markets

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