LAST LIONS SWAPMART,

North Coast Weekender - - Front Page - Laura Pond

THE Girrawheen Lions Club has to find a new home for its swap meet af­ter 30 years in the same lo­ca­tion.

The club is hold­ing its fi­nal mar­ket at New­park Shop­ping Cen­tre in Girrawheen this Satur­day, where it has been run­ning for three decades, be­cause cen­tre man­age­ment said park­ing is­sues made it no longer vi­able.

Club trea­surer Brian An­der­son and pres­i­dent Terry Dodd met cen­tre man­ager Peter Cook on May 1, who asked whether they would con­sider hold­ing the swap meet on Sun­day in­stead. Mr An­der­son said they sur­veyed the 120 stall­hold­ers and only six found mov­ing the day suit­able, with many at­tend­ing other swap meets on Sun­days.

“More than half said it was not con­ve­nient to come on a Sun­day,” he said. “That wasn’t re­ally an op­tion for us.”

The club re­ceived a let­ter from the cen­tre four days later stat­ing the change would take ef­fect on July 1.

Mr Cook said own­ers New­park Hold­ings re­quested the move and be­lieved they had been “ex­tremely gen­er­ous” in al­low­ing the club to op­er­ate there for so long.

“The club has been given a real op­por­tu­nity to gen­er­ate rev­enue at a to­tally pep­per­corn rent,” he said.

“They take up so much of the carpark so there’s no room for any­one else to park.”

But Mr An­der­son ar­gued there was al­ways park­ing avail­able dur­ing the swap meet.

“We don’t think that’s a good enough rea­son,” he said. “It’s gutwrench­ing af­ter all this time.”

He was con­cerned about how the club would be able to as­sist the com­mu­nity be­cause the swap meet gen­er­ated most of in­come.

“We feel gut­ted be­cause it’s ba­si­cally our life­line; we rely on that to help out in the com­mu­nity,” he said.

“It’s go­ing to af­fect our abil­ity to ser­vice the com­mu­nity. We’re in an area where a lot of peo­ple need help.”

Mr An­der­son said the club hoped to find an­other lo­cal shop­ping cen­tre will­ing to give them space to op­er­ate the swap meet. The fi­nal swap meet runs on Satur­day from 8am to noon.

www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d470562

Rick Snow,Terry Dodd,Brian An­der­son and Barry Nielsen from the Lions Club of Girrawheen. Pic­ture: Martin Ken­nealey

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