Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE -

DEPUTY mayor John Collins was greeted by the strains of We Shall Not Be Moved as he met Air­lie Beach mar­ket stall hold­ers out­side the Proser­pine coun­cil cham­bers last Thurs­day.

The stall hold­ers were there to present Whit­sun­day Re­gional Coun­cil with a pe­ti­tion to re­tain the mar­ket in its cur­rent po­si­tion on the foreshore.

The coun­cil is cur­rently con­sid­er­ing a re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion of the Air­lie Beach foreshore that would po­ten­tially see the mar­kets moved fur­ther back from the beach­front.

Please Don’t Move The Mar­kets com­mit­tee mem­ber and stall holder Christina della Valle ex­plained 1121 res­i­dents and visi­tors had signed the pe­ti­tion against the move.

“We just wanted to show you that what­ever hap­pens, what­ever plans come to fruition, that we would love the mar­ket to stay where it is,” she said.

Ms della Valle said there were two ma­jor draw­cards in Air­lie Beach; these be­ing the la­goon and the mar­kets.

“And there is hardly any main­te­nance done on the mar­kets,” she said.

“But if we move the mar­kets it will die.

“So this is an ex­pres­sion of our strong feel­ing and (a) thank you for com­ing out here.”

Cr Collins said he would do what the peo­ple thought best.

“I can guar­an­tee that I’ll be lis­ten­ing to the peo­ple, the ma­jor­ity of the peo­ple,” he said.

“That’s how I’ve al­ways voted, even if it’s against my own wishes.

“But at the end of the day, it’s a whole coun­cil de­ci­sion and what in­di­vid­ual coun­cil­lors might think about it, that’s their busi­ness.”

Ms della Valle said the stall hold­ers had spo­ken di­rectly to their coun­cil­lors.

“So I think the coun­cil­lors should by now be well in­formed,” she said.

“Oh we’re well in­formed,” Cr Collins replied, to a round of laugh­ter.

Mar­ket stall holder and artist Adri­aan Van­der­lugt, who sculpted the wal­laby that sits out­side the Proser­pine Cham­bers, said the mar­kets just needed a facelift, not a move. “It’s not bro­ken,” he said. “Just fix the toi­lets, fix the park­ing, level up the ground on the beach side.”

VOICES HEARD: Christina della Valle presents a pe­ti­tion to Deputy Mayor John Collins.

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