Stallholders outraged at changes to weekly esplanade market
THE Fraser Coast Council has come under fire from stallholders for turning a weekly Scarness Park market into a monthly event, after it deemed the foreshore parks were being overused.
Sundays in the Park - a free day of musical entertainment and market stalls - have been held along the esplanade in partnership with the council and the Hervey Bay Council for the Arts for the past eight years.
But following a council review, the Hervey Bay Council for the Arts has been directed to hold only one market and music Sunday a month, and a free music concert at the Pialba Community Hall every third Sunday of the month.
"Other music events without market stalls will be held on a regular basis at Scarness Park," Hervey Bay Council for the Arts president Kerrie Marshall said.
"All of our special events will still be able to happen.
"We are satisfied with what the arrangements are and we are still negotiating further."
Jutta Zapf-Atkinson and her artist husband, Martin, are stallholders at the once weekly market and said they were disappointed at the changes.
"For us, it is a hobby but for the others, it's really hard because it's their daily bread," Mrs Zapf-Atkinson said.
"There are a lot of elderly people in the area that can't get to some markets but they can walk down to Scarness," she said.
Fraser Coast mayor Gerard O'Connell said the council did the review to ensure the markets complemented each other, and did not compete against each other or esplanade businesses.
"Council will also investigate paving the area used for the markets in order to limit damage to the grass within Scarness Park from the market stalls," he said.