Mar­ket crack­down

Southern Gazette (Belmont) - - NEWS - Matt Zis

THE Sun­day morn­ing trash and trea­sure swap­meet at Bel­mont Fo­rum’s carpark man­aged to op­er­ate for a stag­ger­ing 30 years with­out for­mal au­thor­ity.

Ret­ro­spec­tive ap­proval has now been granted so the Bel­mont Ro­ta­mart has per­mis­sion to con­tinue the weekly mar­ket in 2019, but sec­ond-hand sellers and the Bel­mont Ro­tary Club will face more strin­gent op­er­at­ing rules.

The con­di­tions in­clude shop­ping cen­tre se­cu­rity be­ing tasked with en­sur­ing stall­hold­ers do not ar­rive and at­tempt to set up be­fore the des­ig­nated 5.30am start time.

South­ern Gazette un­der­stands the new agree­ment fol­lowed com­plaints of some stall­hold­ers ar­riv­ing so early they were camp­ing in the carpark the night be­fore and us­ing nearby pub­lic gar­dens as a toi­let.

City of Bel­mont chief ex­ec­u­tive John Christie con­firmed there were com­plaints about ven­dors camp­ing overnight and that health, safety and amenity mat­ters raised were un­ac­cept­able.

“The City again wrote to the Bel­mont Ro­tary Club to re­quest that ap­proval be ob­tained and an ap­pli­ca­tion was even­tu­ally sub­mit­ted in July 2018,” he said.

Bel­mont Ro­ta­mart was ini­tially ap­proved for a three-month trial pe­riod in 1988 but has con­tin­ued to op­er­ate since the trial ended. Pro­ceeds from the $10 seller fee and gold-coin do­na­tion for shop­pers as­sist the Ro­tary club with its char­ity projects.

Quizzed over how the swap­meet could op­er­ate for three decades with­out coun­cil ap­proval, Mr Christie said nu­mer­ous re­quests were sent to the Ro­tar­i­ans but the mat­ter had sim­ply never been ad­dressed.

Coun­cil records show let­ters were sent in May 1991, May 2009 and July 2009.

As part of the ret­ro­spec­tive ap­proval, which was for­mally granted by the coun­cil last Tues­day, Bel­mont Ro­ta­mart will have to fol­low a Safety and Health Plan, which out­lines rules for se­cu­rity, park­ing, toi­let fa­cil­i­ties and the sale of goods.

Bel­mont Fo­rum toi­lets will be open from 5.30am.

The plan will be re­viewed af­ter six months and the ap­proval to op­er­ate is only for 2019, af­ter which or­gan­is­ers will need to reap­ply to con­tinue.

The next Ro­ta­mart is sched­uled for Sun­day, Jan­uary 6.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.