Traders' hopes on rocks

A DECISION to bring Perth’s controversial street markets a step closer has been deferred by the Perth City Council.

At its March 23 meeting council was to change its Street Trading Local Law Number 15 to allow the street markets to progress.

Council staff said a communication plan had to be prepared to inform stake holders of the changes to the law and its outcomes.

Deputy Lord Mayor Tess Stroud moved deferral because the communication plan was not ready.

Council has decided to proceed with street markets in the city despite strong opposition from CBD traders.

If the markets do come to fruition it is likely they will be set up in Murray Street in the city’s West End.

Traders are concerned they will be subject to unfair competition by “part-time” traders who do not have to pay the rents or the rates existing traders do.

When council considered the street markets at its February 9 meeting, a 196-signature petition was tabled clearly voicing traders’ disgust.

The petition was collected by Perth gift shop operator and council hopeful Jennifer MacGill.

Ms MacGill said the CBD’s small traders were hurting and did not need another 170 shops opening.

In February, council was divided over whether the markets should go ahead in light of trader opposition.

But in the end it adopted the attitude that it had spent $300,000 on consultants fees so it had no choice but to proceed.

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