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