MARKETS ON ROKEBY CLOSE
SUBIACO’S controversial Markets on Rokeby have closed permanently after announcing last week on social media that they would no longer continue to operate the Rokeby Road market.
The markets, which opened in November last year, have been plagued with problems, including traffic and parking issues, complaints from nearby business owners and failing to attract large crowds.
The markets also faced issues when they were forced to close temporarily last month to allow for upgrades to Rokeby Road.
The closure of the markets is another hit for Subiaco and its plan for revitalisation after losing the Pavilion Markets in 2007 and the Station Street markets last year.
The City of Subiaco voted against Growers Lane Food market at Subiaco’s Home Base last month, sending it back to the State Administrative Tribunal, despite overwhelming community support.
City of Subiaco acting chief executive Debbie Terelinck said the council was supportive of the market and was disappointed it did not work out.
“Council was a great supporter of the Markets on Rokeby concept and, along with everyone else, hoped it would be a success. It is important to note that while supported by the City, Markets on Rokeby was an independent business venture,” she said.
“While it’s disappointing Markets on Rokeby did not work out as anticipated, there are many other retail, hospitality and entertainment options attracting people to Subiaco.”
An independent online survey revealed earlier this year that one of the main reasons people were deterred from visiting Subiaco was the lack of markets.
Ms Terelinck said there were no plans currently in place for another market in Subiaco but that they were working on a number of major events and partnerships.
“The City is a proud partner of the very successful Subiaco Farmers Market, which is a popular destination for locals, residents and visitors every Saturday morning.”
The owners of Markets on Rokeby declined to comment on the closure of the markets.
NEARLY a quarter of people who responded to this newspaper’s Subi’s Next Steps survey earlier this year said markets were the best attraction to the suburb. Over the years, people have been spoilt for choice with the Pavilion Market, Station Street Markets and the Subi Farmers Market, which still trades strongly on a Saturday morning. Markets on Rokeby were short-lived but filled a small void left by the Station Street Markets. Subiaco councillors have also missed a golden opportunity by rejecting Growers Lane Food market at Home Base, despite their administration recommending approval. Most respondents to the Western Suburbs Weekly survey said more markets would improve Subiaco. Over the past six months, the City of Subiaco has improved its parking (a bugbear for many survey respondents) strategies, including implementing better signage leading people to its carparks and convenient payment methods. With the recent “quiet” closure of Markets on Rokeby - it was announced on their Facebook page that has since been deleted - it feels like one step forward and two steps back.