MARKETS: Byron Bay Markets take place every first Sunday of the month at the Butler Street Reserve.
MARKETS: Byron Bay Markets take place every first Sunday of the month at the Butler Street Reserve. Cathy Adams

Rain cancellation leads to new management for markets

A NEW Byron Bay Markets Management Committee is to be formed after the controversial cancellation of a market due to stallholders withdrawing and predicted poor weather.

Many stallholders took to social media to express their disappointment the market was cancelled the day before it was due to take place last Sunday, with organisers citing poor weather and stallholder withdrawals.

Stallholder groups also bemoaned poor communication in the decision, saying some vendors turned up with products to find the market cancelled and themselves out of pocket.

Paul Spooner, general manager of Byron Community Centre, which manages the markets, said the decision to cancel was made far too early.

“The disappointment and frustration regarding the market cancellation has been heard loud and clear by those managing the Byron Markets,” Mr Spooner said.

“I believe stallholders have the right to hear first- hand why this decision was taken rather than just through emails or posts on Facebook,” he said.

At a meeting of management and stallholders on the following Tuesday, it was decided a new committee would be formed to include all stakeholders. Any decision to cancel a market would be made on the day.

Longterm markets manager Tess Cullen also resigned after seven-and-a-half years.

“We are currently looking at what the new manage- ment positions will be and advertising shortly,” said Mr Spooner. “Once the new committee is in place, as a united group we can move forward and be more effective in fighting for the markets,” he said.

“There have been issues recently around the stability of the markets with the land designated for car parking and the bypass construction as well as moves within (the) council to move the markets to private land.

“We will be looking to ensure Butler St continues to be the markets’ home.”

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