Baker laments ‘weak’ leadership

Maylands markets doubts continue

WEAK leadership at Bayswater city council has led to uncertainty over the future of the Maylands Hawkers Markets, says local Labor MP Lisa Baker.

The MP says ever since the council voted to delay approval, pending a traffic management report, she has been inundated with calls from residents “outraged the council is dragging its feet”.

“It seems that some members of council have chosen to postpone a decision on the proposal in an effort to stymie the markets,” she says.

“I understand the mayor used his casting vote to delay the markets when another councillor abstained from the vote due to a conflict of interest.

“It seems that a lack of strong leadership in council on this issue has led to a decision to postpone consideration of the proposal.”

Mayor Sylvan Albert— Ms Baker’s Liberal opponent at last year’s state election—says he is fully supportive of the markets and Ms Baker’s attack “looks like a case of a local MLA trying to build her profile”.

“Council deferral was to ensure that the traffic management and parking arrangements met the needs of all the parties concerned to ensure longevity of the markets.

• Maylands Labor MP Lisa Baker outside The Rise. Photo by Matthew Dwyer

• Maylands Labor MP Lisa Baker outside The Rise. Photo by Matthew Dwyer

“This way the city can look after the interests of the markets and other businesses in the area, who have expressed their concern about parking.

“As I’ve previously advised there’s a lot of goodwill towards this community initiative amongst myself and my colleagues.”

Meanwhile, Local Arts and Community Events, the not-for-profit group behind the markets, has been busy formulating a Plan B and has held talks with Vincent mayor John Carey about hosting the event on his patch.

“The talks with John Carey went well and we are meeting up with a local group in Vincent next week to progress the plan,“ says LACE chairperson Catherine Ehrhardt.

“We are also looking at a site in the City of Swan as well.

“These markets would be on different days and not conflict with the Saturday Maylands market—if that eventually gets approved.”

The market completed a successful 12 month trial next to The Rise but the council voted to put it on ice pending a traffic report.

Ms Ehrhardt says the delay leaves her no time to attract sponsors or ready the markets for lucrative pre-Christmas trading.

by STEPHEN POLLOCK

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