NT News

PERMANENT CBD MARKET

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To our Territory parliament­arians, Darwin aldermen and women (particular­ly the newly-elected ones), town planners and community leaders – please consider the benefits to Darwin of a permanent market. Creating a heart for the city, it would provide a place for local marketeers to have a permanent stall in an attractive building suitable for our climate, open for trading (say) four or five days a week and featuring produce and crafts unique to the Top End. Look at the markets in Sydney, Melbourne and particular­ly Adelaide – glorious centres for purveyors of the best, fresh local produce plus delicacies such as cheeses, sweets, natural health products, wicked cakes and unique crafts.

Ours could become a feature of the city with fresh fish, fresh local meat (not pre-packaged), local fruit and vegetables, tropical flowers, food stalls smelling of Asian spices, others featuring bush tucker gathered by Aboriginal people – all reflecting our multicultu­ral society. It would be a market for locals, but also for tourists, with handwashin­g and toilet facilities, a place where people could sit to enjoy a coffee or cool drink while shopping.

The market could be in an area served by public transport but also with adequate parking.

The land off Frances Bay Drive in the Fisherman’s Wharf area (the old railway yards) would be a good site for a market.

The old hospital site above Cullen Bay would be ideal.

Let’s hold on to them before a developer sticks up a high rise blocking yet another waterfront view. Our city already has bars, restaurant­s, art galleries, museums, even a wave pool and will soon have a campus of our everexpand­ing university. Our suburban markets are great, but, as they grow, continue to have problems with parking for both vendors and customers. To give the city a heart, to make Darwin a complete, liveable city, we need a market. We can still do it. Territory and civic leaders, please consider before it’s too late.

Alison Watt, Jingili

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