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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

A tale of two markets

The Beagle Editor, This week I learnt that Council has given a 40% discount for stall fees for not-for-profit mid-week SAGE Farmers’ Markets be included in Council’s Fees and Charges commencing 1 July 2022, and has agreed that, for the period until 31 December 2022, the Sage Farmers Market licence not be charged stall fees in order to support the markets’ operational costs. I have lived in Moruya for nearly a decade and no one can doubt that the Moruya Country Market is an asset to our community. I have had two stalls and have met so many people who have benefitted from the markets. Visitors love the markets and it is a real community hub for catchups and for showing off our town. Apart from providing employment for over 100 small business's that attend on a weekly basis, and being a major drawcard to the town on Saturday mornings readers might be interested to learn that any profits that are made are donated back into our local community. In my time I have seen donations to organisations such as Lions, the Moruya High School, as well as the local tennis and netball clubs. The dragon boats, animal welfare league, Moruya hospital ...etc etc, the list is numerous and donations were substantial. All funds come from the stall holders via the site fees, which coincidentally have recently been increased by the Eurobodalla Shire Council. For those unpowered stall site at the Moruya Country Markets costs $25 and Council takes $19. All Council does in return is mow the grass. They get nearly $100,000 a year from the markets and all they do is mow the grass. I remember the committee asking Council for years if there could be more seats so that visitors had somewhere to sit to enjoy the ambience. Those requests were ignored. Don't get me wrong. SAGE markets are terrific but unlike SAGE the Moruya Country Markets don't get any grants, there's no Council recognition. They just suck the fees so that blokes like me can't afford to make much. I need to sell seven kilos to cover my site fee before I begin to make a single dollar. It was disappointing to hear that our new Mayor (Mathew Hatcher) announced this week that seeing as the SAGE market has had such a hard time, their fees are being minimalised, if not totally wiped. SAGE gets prime advertising from ESC, Moruya Country Markets get nothing. Where is the equity? What about the Tuross Community Gardens. Do they get their fees waived as well because it has rained for ever. Is it a case of the noisy wheel or ... is the Moruya Country Market just a "Cash Cow" for the Eurobodalla Shire Council, placed on ‘set and forget’ until the next site fee increase. To say my vendor friends and I am disappointed is an understatement. How about the Moruya Markets not be charged stall fees in order to support the markets’ operational costs. How about we have some equity instead of having a council that has its hand out every time you turn around. I can't speak on behalf of the committee or my fellow traders. This is my own personal view. Name and address supplied

NOTE: Comments were TRIALED - in the end it failed as humans will be humans and it turned into a pile of merde; only contributed to by just a handful who did little to add to the conversation of the issue at hand. Anyone who would like to contribute an opinion are encouraged to send in a Letter to the Editor where it might be considered for publication

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