Newtown Markets saved!

Media release 15 October 2013

Greens and community force Council backflip on markets

The Newtown community markets have been saved, with Marrickville Council voting to overturn its earlier refusal of the Development Application to continue the markets.

Greens Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore, who represents Newtown, said, “Tonight half of the Marrickville Councillors changed their vote, in front of a packed gallery demanding Council save the markets. We saw Liberal and several Labor Councillors backflip in the face of a wave of anger from the community.

“This is a huge victory for the residents and the local business community, who rallied behind the markets. The Greens are the only party to have consistently stood with local residents in support of the markets,” she said.

Residents gather for Newtown Markets

Supporters of Newtown Markets gather outside Council before the vote, 15 October 2013

In a shock decision, the Liberals and a selection of ALP Councillors had voted in August to shut down the markets, which operates out of Council’s Newtown Square on King Street. The Newtown Neighbourhood Centre, which runs the markets, put in an immediate appeal and was able to keep operating until the appeal was decided tonight.

During the Marrickville Council meeting supporters of the markets packed the Marrickville Council gallery, wearing or carrying “I love Newtown Markets” signs and stickers.

Clr Ellsmore said, “In lead-up to the appeal Marrickville Councillors received nearly 4000 signatures on petitions and large numbers of detailed, individual submissions, one of the strongest responses ever received by Council. We received supportive submissions from numerous individual businesses – none opposed to the market – and a survey which showed there is 87% support for the markets from the local business strip.

“We heard from local residents who love the markets because it brings the community together, local manufacturers who got their start through a market stall, local artisans who use the markets to promote their wares and locals and residents alike who love the vibrant, creative and activist spirit of Newtown that the markets represent.

Residents at the Council meeting clapped in support as the Councillors announced they would vote to keep the markets

Residents at the Council meeting clapped in support as the Councillors announced they would vote to keep the markets

“Tonight’s win is a testament to the community and their campaign. If it had not been for the overwhelming community response the markets would have been shut down.

“The Greens were proud to support the community throughout their campaign by leading the charge on Council to save the markets. I was immensely proud tonight to be part of this important win for Newtown,” said Clr Ellsmore.

Media contact: Greens Councillor for North Ward, Sylvie Ellsmore 0403 977 213

For more background to the Council decisions leading up to the vote see previous posts:

12 October 2013 (including copies of meeting papers for the 15 October 2013 Council meeting) and

21 August 2013  (including copies of the original DA for the markets, staff recommendations and reports about the impacts on local business)

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