Confusion hurts Bargara markets

CONFUSION over the status of markets at Bargara Beach is being blamed for keeping people away.

The Bargara Beach Windmill Markets have been running every Saturday and Sunday for two months, but organiser Shelli Lawler feared they were being confused with an attempt to start markets on the foreshore.

Early in November, Bundaberg Regional Council gave permission for markets to be held once a week on the Bargara foreshore for a six-month trial period.

However, the council later had to withdraw its permission after the Department of Environment and Resource Management said commercial enterprises could not go ahead on the land.

The council agreed to put the foreshore markets on hold while it reviewed its management plan for the area.

Mrs Lawler said many people thought that meant the Bargara Beach Windmill Markets, which she had hoped would be a small business incubator for the area, had been shut down.

"It's not very easy when you're trying to attract people to the area," she said.

"We could do with a few more people through the markets."

But some business operators in the area feel there might be a different problem with the enterprise.

Bargara Meats owner Steve Conway felt the markets were not really attracting more people to the area.

"At first they did, then the novelty wore off," he said.

"They need to be a lot bigger to attract people."

Mr Conway said he had noticed no increase in the number of people attracted to the area.

Salt Restaurant owner Bert Degit said the markets were a big hit when they started.

"After that they've just died," he said.

"They hold the markets

every weekend and I think it's just too much.

"If they had it once a month, I think they might do better."

But Homeleigh House store operator Hayley Edmondson, whose shop is close to the markets, had a different view.

"I think they have a lovely ambience at the markets," she said.

"We're happy having them there."

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