Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page - By LISA THOMAS

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.

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