Farmers’ market wins vote: Joondalup

A FARMERS’ market could add vibrancy to Joondalup’s Central Walk, according to the City council.

At its September 15 meeting, councillors unanimously voted for an expression of interest process for a farmers’ market in Central Walk in the City centre.

The decision was in response to a 157-signature petition presented in June requesting the City hold a farmers’ market every Saturday in Central Walk “to increase more traffic and acknowledgement of the area”.

City officers recommended the council not support the petition because the City was “not currently resourced to dedicate the time required to manage a permanent farmers’ market year-round” and Central Walk posed challenges with vehicle access, storage and display space and low traffic compared to other areas in Joondalup.

A council document said of the 13 permanent farmers’ markets in and around Perth, none was managed by councils but some received help from their local government with establishment costs and ongoing in-kind support.

Officers estimated it would cost $165,000 each year to operate the market every Saturday morning.

Cr Brian Corr said he understood there could not be a market all year round because of other activities, but suggested an occasional one run by a community group such as Rotary was possible.

The City holds a market at Central Walk on five Friday evenings in the lead-up to Christmas each year and during the Joondalup Festival. “History shows efforts to extend beyond the existing five-week market season have been unsuccessful,” the document said.

Mayor Troy Pickard foreshadowed a motion that disagreed with the officers’ recommendation and requested the initiation of an expression of interest. “I think it’s an appropriate response to test the market,” he said.

“I think a farmers’ market in Central Walk would be a wonderful feature for the City centre, a wonderful facility for our growing inner-city residential population and it would help to attract visitors to our City centre on weekends.

“There is interest in the farmers’ market concept because a couple of companies have expressed an interest in Central Park.”

The City has received proposals from three independent market managers to run a farmers’ market in the City centre and one in the South ward.