Byron Bay Markets: Get With It. Change is Inevitable.

This Byron News photo shows youngest Australian Chamber of Commerce president (at the time) John Wright and his sister Julie, working the donuts stall at the Byron Bay Markets in Apex Park, Byron Bay, in the early 1970s.

YESTERDAY’S VOICE of Byron article highlighted the resistance to change by those against relocating the Byron Bay Community Markets.

But they ignore the fact that the markets are currently in the Butler Street Reserve as the result of change.

Former Byron Bay Chamber of Commerce president, Gold Coast social media marketing consultant John Wright, recalls the first relocation of the markets from Byron’s Apex Park to Butler Street.

“The Chamber of Commerce decided to create the markets, and a committee was formed, of which I was a member,” John said.

“I can’t recall all committee members but I remember Penny Fidler and Wendy Taylor were two of them.

“We located the markets in Apex Park in Bay Street and they were a resounding success from the outset.

“But inevitably, they markets outgrew the Apex Park venue.”

The decision to relocate to the Butler Street Reserve was made, and the markets were then privatised and managed by Penny and the Chamber bowed out.

“I recall intense disappointment at the need for change at the time, but in the long run it was both necessary and extremely successful.

“People resist change and I understand it can be difficult sometimes.

“It’s time now for the next Byron Markets change… time to embrace the future and adopt the Michie Plan for the next relocation of the Byron Bay Markets.”

One comment on “Byron Bay Markets: Get With It. Change is Inevitable.

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Jules Claydon on October 3, 2017 2:52 pm

Let’s be clear about the proposed change of market venue and possible ramifications for stallholders. As a recognised part of the Byron community, stallholders, of necessity, are flexible, adaptable and cope easily with change. The very nature of these people is that they have chosen to set up businesses in a fluctuating market place which may not always provide them with opportunities to trade, because some days there is not enough space to accommodate everyone.

Byron Bay has one of the largest entrepreneurial business startups in Australia, and the Byron Market is home to many of these.

Change is not something stallholders are averse to, but our experience of being heard by Council and other community authorities has tempered our trust in the local authorities to truthfully answer questions about the future of Byron Markets, questions which have been asked for well over a year now, since the first whiff of a move was suggested.

No, we are not resistant to change, but to date, no plan has been shown to stallholders of an alternative site, nor have we been included in any planning sessions for such a move. We have serious concerns about traffic management, particularly at the end of the day when traffic into Byron is a major problem and bumping out of the market will add to this dilemma. Butler St is on the edge of the CBD and traffic does not have to cross town to get in and out. What is the traffic management plan for the Michie proposal?

Stallholders would like to be involved in any planning sessions for the move of Byron Markets, since we have first hand knowledge about bumping in and out of a large market place. Personally, I see a contradiction with Michie’s plan to pedestrianise the Byron CBD, by bringing more traffic into town in peak hour.

Our hesitation is not about the move, but how such a plan is to be executed. At present, it’s an idea and we have been given no more than that. Please give stallholders the respect they deserve by providing us with a definitive project and traffic management plan, with timelines for the move and something more concrete than an idea garnered by purveyors of the master plan. We want to know how this is going to work, what are the potential risks and benefits?

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