Chamber suggests new market location
THE Whitsunday Coast Chamber of Commerce (WCCC) have their own ideas for the Airlie Beach foreshore markets and they want the public's opinion.
Chamber president Kevin Collins said WCCC decided to jump on board when they came up with an alternative they said hadn't yet been explored.
In their submission, released to the public today, WCCC suggests moving the markets to its original spot at Fairy Tree Park but do so by enhancing the facilities and infrastructure.
"This means the markets will be in the middle of town rather than isolated at the end of the foreshore, which is a win for the markets, businesses, shoppers and the wider community," Mr Collins said.
In addition, the chamber's submission also addresses car parking, foreshore location, the toilets and pump station, the positive and negative impacts on businesses, cruise ship visitors, the public open space, commercial use of parkland and the community benefits.
Mr Collins said Fairy Tree Park also provided better ambiance and the nearby carpark would be a huge positive to come with the change.
"There's room for growth, there's shade and there's vehicle access for loading and unloading," he said.
"It also removes the issue of the pump station and smell.
"It will cost $1 million to move (the pump station) but if we move the markets it can stay there."
With the markets a hugely successful event for locals, businesses and traders and Mr Collins said a huge part of the submission would be raising substantial funds for community events.
For example, Mr Collins said if the cost to run a stall was increased by $10 the additional money could go into a fund raising money for events such as the Whitsunday Reef Festival and Airlie Bech Festival of Music.
With the cost to run a stall already $10-$15, Mr Collins said a $10 increase would still be cheap in comparison to other markets, which charged up to $40 for a stall.
"We think it's a great way to generate funding for local events," he said.
Mr Collins said the chamber hoped to see more community debate and that the public would consider a third alternative.
"We want to see locals have a look at the submission and engage with the chamber and tell us if they think we can do something better," he said.
"The more the community own the process then the better the outcome will be."
To contact WCCC visit www.facebook.com/AirlieBeachChamberofCommerce.
To view the submission summary, read below.