Markets at Bargara off the agenda

SHOPPERS will miss out on proposed Sunday markets in Bargara after the organiser pulled out, claiming the council had set him too many conditions.

Bundaberg Regional Council last month approved a six-month market trial along the Bargara foreshore, but applicant John Auchter said too many conditions and changes to the original plan had made it too difficult to proceed.

Mr Auchter had initially planned to hold the markets in the one-way section of Bauer Street, but the council’s conditions involved moving them down towards Nielson Park, leaving the area in a clean and tidy condition and providing a traffic management plan.

“We just couldn’t live with the conditions, and the new location,” Mr Auchter said.

“Just about everyone in the region was behind it. Bargara’s missed out on a great opportunity.

“Things like markets go hand in hand with little villages like Bargara; it’s somewhere that the whole family could go and have fun.”

Local business owners, such as Sanshells Boutique, were also supportive of markets in Bauer Street.

Partner Sandra Kemps said she would welcome the idea of having markets at the end of Bauer Street since they would also benefit from business generated there.

“I’d prefer it to be here than down the road - it creates interest in the central area,” she said.

Bundaberg Region Mayor Lorraine Pyefinch said the conditions on Mr Auchter’s proposal were the same for anyone, business or community group, to hold markets.

“Council was extremely pleased that he put forward this proposal and we gave it approval with conditions,” she said.

“We’re disappointed he’s made this decision, but it would be extremely unfair to allow his application to be different.”

Cr Pyefinch said material change of use after a successful six-month trial period was over, which had also concerned Mr Auchter, was common for market agreements.

“We would have expected anyone using public land to adhere to those conditions, and I think that’s more than reasonable at a very nominal charge,” she said.

Cr Pyefinch said council fully supported anything that would help tourism, but to have the markets at Bauer Street was expected to cause too many disturbances in the heart of the area.

She said the council would welcome other market applicants for Bargara.

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