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Street markets plans are finally laid to rest

PLANS for street markets in Perth’s West End and Northbridge have finally been killed off by the Perth City Council.

At its 14 September meeting, council decided to formally cease all proceedings in relation to the project for street markets in Lake Street, Northbridge and Murray Street, West End, cease the tender process and advise all parties who made submissions on the issue of council’s decision.

Council has been pursuing the idea of holding weekend street markets for the past four years.

It hired consultant Frank Elgar, creator of Sydney’s Rocks Markets, to create a concept plan.

Despite strong opposition from CBD retailers, council decided to continue with the project in February. It was decided then that council had spent too much money on the markets plan to abandon it.

Councillor Laurance Goodman said there had been strong opposition to the markets.

“We decided on a number of occasions not to proceed with them ourselves,” Mr Goodman said.

“From the outset I think these markets have been an extravaganza doomed to failure. We took no account of the fact that it would be unfair trading against people who have to pay rates and taxes.

“The only things the markets had going for them was that they would have brought colour to the streets. But Perth is not a film set.”

Deputy Lord Mayor Michael Sutherland said the markets proposal had been inappropriate for Perth.

“When I went to Sydney I went to the Rocks Markets,” Mr Sutherland said. “While they were impressive, most of the goods on offer were those you could buy in any arcade in Perth.”

Councillor Tess Stroud, who backed progressing the markets project in February because of the amount of money spent on it, said the Rocks Markets were successful because they were not vying with other businesses.

“On the sites we’ve chosen, these markets will be vying with Perth businesses,” Mrs Stroud said.

“I don’t think these markets will be enough of an attraction to bring extra people to the city.”

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