Cham­ber sug­gests a new mar­ket lo­ca­tion

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS - By Inge Hansen

THE Whit­sun­day Coast Cham­ber of Com­merce (WCCC) has its own ideas for the Air­lie Beach fore­shore mar­kets and they want the pub­lic’s opin­ion.

Pres­i­dent Kevin Collins said WCCC de­cided to jump on board when they came up with an al­ter­na­tive they said hadn’t yet been ex­plored.

In their sub­mis­sion re­leased to the pub­lic last week, WCCC sug­gests mov­ing the mar­kets to its orig­i­nal spot at Fairy Tree Park but do so by en­hanc­ing the fa­cil­i­ties and in­fra­struc­ture.

“This means the mar­kets will be in the mid­dle of town rather than iso­lated at the end of the fore­shore, which is a win for the mar­kets, busi­nesses, shop­pers and the wider com­mu­nity,” Mr Collins said.

In ad­di­tion, the cham­ber’s sub­mis­sion also ad­dresses car park­ing, fore­shore lo­ca­tion, the toi­lets and pump sta­tion, the pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive im­pacts on busi­nesses, cruise ship visi­tors, the pub­lic open space, com­mer­cial use of park­land and the com­mu­nity ben­e­fits.

Mr Collins said Fairy Tree Park also pro­vided bet­ter am­biance and the nearby carpark would be a huge pos­i­tive to come with the change.

“There’s room for growth, there’s shade and there’s veh- icle ac­cess for load­ing and un­load­ing,” he said.

“It also re­moves the is­sue of the pump sta­tion and smell.

“It will cost $1 mil­lion to move (the pump sta­tion) but if we move the mar­kets it can stay there.”

With the mar­kets a hugely suc­cess­ful event for lo­cals, busi­nesses and traders and Mr Collins said a huge part of the sub­mis­sion would be rais­ing sub­stan­tial funds for com­mu­nity events.

For ex­am­ple, Mr Collins said if the cost to run a stall was in­creased by $10 the ad­di­tional money could go into a fund rais­ing money for events such as the Whit­sun­day Reef Fes­ti­val and Air­lie Bech Fes­ti­val of Mu­sic.

With the cost to run a stall al­ter­na­tive.

“We want to see lo­cals have a look at the sub­mis­sion and en­gage with the cham­ber and tell us if they think we can do some­thing bet­ter,” he said.

“The more the com­mu­nity own the process then the bet­ter the out­come will be.”

To con­tact WCCC visit www.face­­lieBeachCham­berofCom­merce. al­ready $10-$15, Mr Collins said a $10 in­crease would still be cheap in com­par­i­son to other mar­kets, which charged up to $40 for a stall.

“We think it’s a great way to gen­er­ate fund­ing for lo­cal events,” he said.

Mr Collins said the cham­ber hoped to see more com­mu­nity de­bate and that the pub­lic would con­sider a third

SUB­MIS­SION: Pres­i­dent of the Whit­sun­day Cham­ber of Com­merce Kevin Collins at the cur­rent lo­ca­tion of the fore­shore mar­kets in Air­lie Beach, hold­ing the cham­ber’s sub­mis­sion. Photo Inge Hansen

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