Gay Ignatenko with one of the now-empty shops near her own store at the marina.
Gay Ignatenko with one of the now-empty shops near her own store at the marina. Alistair Brightman

Markets would help marina pick up

RENAISSANCE is in the air at Hervey Bay marina and with the right marketing a downturn can be turned around.

Gay Ignatenko has run Banana Bender at the marina for 10 years and she admits she has never seen the complex as slow as it is now.

“This is the worst I’ve ever seen down here with the vacant shops.”

Not one to take the GFC or the departure of the Kingfisher terminal lying down, Ms Ignatenko believes the area can be reinvigorated by a Friday night market like the Torquay twilight markets.

Ms Ignatenko is president of Fraser Coast Sustainable Development Association which got the Torquay markets off the ground.

The market idea was mooted at a meeting of concerned marina businesses called by councillor Anne Nioa this week.

“We can’t seem to attract the locals down there. It’s up to people with boats and businesses to make it interesting to people.”

Where Banana Bender once had busy next-door neighbours, there are now vacant shops.

Marina management has already given the plan a verbal seal of approval and Ms Ignatenko is touting the views of business owners at the marina.

Jahn Stone, who owns Chit Chat café, was involved in a previous move to have markets there.

“People wanted to come down and see what the markets had to offer,” she said.

She says the Kingfisher terminal move to River Heads has had “a dramatic effect” on the marina.

“If the people of Hervey Bay want to keep their harbour here, they need to support their harbour.”



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