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Northbridge market makeover

PLANS for weekend markets in Northbridge have been revived by the Perth City Council as it looks for solutions to the suburb’s growing list of problems.

After abandoning the street market idea two years ago, councillors last week voted unanimously to investigate the feasibility of a smaller version of the formerly proposed markets.

Cr Bert Tudori raised the motion and said a small Northbridge market would have a better chance of success than the previous proposal.

The concept plan for the markets, drawn up by hired consultant Frank Elgar, creator of Sydney’s Rock’s Markets, involved more than 100 stalls throughout Northbridge and Perth city opening on weekends.

“I think we realise that a few years ago we reached too high … but the groundwork has been done and we should take out the best of it and do the markets in a much smaller way,” Cr Tudori said.

“It must be a happy medium.”

Cr Tudori envisaged about 15 to 20 stalls lining Lake Street opening on Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons.

Cr Vincent Tan supported the motion, saying the council had to do something for the area, or risk losing it.

“I am very concerned about Northbridge. It is very run down in appearance and there is a law and order issue,” Cr Tan said.

“Council must be seen

as being pro-active in lifting

the standard of the area.”

Councillors Tudori and Tan and deputy mayor Judy McEvoy, along with two Northbridge stakeholders, will form a committee to investigate the proposal.

Northbridge restaurateur Mel Bennett, who was invited to sit on the committee, was pleased the idea had been revisited and suggested it would be successful so long as the market did not compete with local shop owners.

“As long as (the markets) do not conflict with what is already there, so no food, but instead there could be souvenirs and arts and crafts,” Mr Bennett said.

“Northbridge is an arty area, even though it isn’t promoted in that way, so these markets could possibly be a place for local artists to sell their work.

“These markets would add another dimension to the area … which it badly needs in order for it to prosper.”

Northbridge Business Association former president Sam Rogers said the association had always supported markets.

“Markets have been very successful in other parts of the world … maybe it is time for Northbridge,” Mr Rogers said.

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