MOAMA WILL KEEP ITS MARKET RELOCATE PLAN RUNS AGROUND
MOAMA’S market has been given a new lease of life as Murray River Council has surrendered to the power of the little people.
The popular Sunday event had been given its marching orders to get out of Kerrabee Soundshell and relocate to Moama Recreation Reserve.
More than 100 devastated stallholders responded with a textbook campaign of protest; slamming the move as short- sighted and saying they would not be making the switch.
Instead, many of them threatened, they would pull the pin on Moama.
The shire clearly got the message and to protect its valuable tourist attraction has rolled over and assured the market management and stallholders they are back in their usual business place.
At the monthly council meeting, acting general manager Des Bilske said 50 per cent of the 20 stallholders he had spoken to said they would not relocate to a new location.
‘‘ They would seek alternate venues,’’ he said.
When councillors met in Moulamein for the first time last week they agreed it should remain where it is.
Cr Geoff Wise said changing the
To protect its valuable tourist attraction [ the shire] has rolled over and assured the market management and stallholders they are back in their usual business place
location could move the market from a “gold mine to a coal mine”.
The market attracts more than 100 stalls 28 Sundays every year.
Heavy traffic flows have been an argument for the market moving but Cr Nikki Cohen said if it was moved to the reserve the traffic would follow.
She said the current site allowed “easy access” from Echuca and Moama.
Council planning, environment and economic development director Simon Arkinstall said there had been “significant” support for leaving it where it is but there was some uncertainty about the current location.
He said the site included council owned land, Crown Land and a Travelling Stock Reserve over which a direct lease would not be permitted.
Crown Lands said an option could include council obtaining a lease of the TSR from Crown Lands and then council subletting the same for a community market.
But there is no guarantee this would be permitted.
Permission from the Aboriginal Land Council was also required and if that is not granted the market would have to move.
A report presented to council said continual use of the park had compacted the ground; having an impact on turf and tree management.
Because the park is prominent and located at the entry to Moama, the report said the markets had degraded its appearance, especially during wet weather and drought conditions, and there was no room should it expand.
Mr Arkinstall said he would speak to Crown Lands in the near future.