By VANESSA LIM
The Pyrmont Bay Markets, scheduled for Sunday 1 September, have been cancelled after a long application process due, principally, to the NSW Government’s red tape strangling the organisers’ initiative. During the year-long process to try to get the monthly markets approved in Pyrmont Bay Park, the NSW Government kept asking for multiple documents and reports as the application went repeatedly back and forth.
On Friday 23 August, just over a week away from what would have been the first officially-approved market day, state bureaucrats from Property NSW, which manages Pyrmont Bay Park, said the Pyrmont Bay Markets would not be approved unless they received a “Wind Management Plan”. The plan would have to present a report addressing 22 bullet points in relation to how the wind might affect stallholders, something the market organisers could not respond to in the brief time period expected.
Catch the wind
The organisers, Pyrmont Ultimo Chamber of Commerce, are ‘greatly disappointed’ that the relaunch of the Pyrmont Bay Markets will not go ahead. Rob McCourt, the Co-President of the Chamber of Commerce said, “The NSW Government throughout the year has asked for several reports and other documents to approve the Pyrmont Bay Markets. We thought we had gone through the last steps of approval until the Property NSW Office asked us for a Wind Management Plan report last Friday.
“It’s disappointing that this event has to be closed after a year-long approval process because Property NSW wanted a report on the wind nine days before our event.”
Pyrmont Bay Market management pointed out that Pyrmont Festival, to be held in a separate waterfront park at the end of September, is still going ahead. On their website they stated: “Fortunately Pirrama Park is not managed by Property NSW. We hope you join us for a glass of wine from the Orange region and wander among the more than 50 stalls all of which were approved by the City of Sydney, without a Wind Management Plan.”
Multiple retailers who were planning to operate stalls at the Pyrmont Bay Markets have been majorly inconvenienced by the sudden cancellation.
Rob McCourt said, “It’s not fair to the local community and small businesses that this event has to be cancelled due to bureaucrats applying red tape measures. Locals who were looking forward to this or were going to hold a stall won’t have the opportunity to participate in the markets anymore, which is disappointing.”
Pyrmont Bay Markets are now in the process of preparing a petition asking the NSW Government to change the lengthy application process and get the markets approved. On their website they state: “In the coming days we will put up a petition urging the Premier and the Lord Mayor to reduce the amount of red tape required to run simple community markets in a public park. We ask that you add your name to the list of concerned residents objecting to the bureaucratic mismanagement of our community events.”
While the markets will be cancelled until further developments, McCourt hopes people come to enjoy the Pyrmont Festival in Pirrama Park over the weekend of 28-29 September.
“Despite the Pyrmont Bay Markets being cancelled, there’s still an opportunity for people to engage in this exciting Festival that supports the local community and small businesses,” he said. “I encourage people to attend this event because it supports local businesses, but also is a fun time.”
Also run by the Pyrmont Ultimo Chamber of Commerce, the Pyrmont Festival features around 50 stalls retailing food and treats from local eateries, artisan and gourmet products, plus entertainment by local stars including children’s fun.