Red tape and pressure on volunteers have contributed to the cancellation of a second event at Colac’s Memorial Square.
Colac Lions Club has announced it will no longer host a monthly market at Memorial Square, just days after the organisers of the Colac Custom Car and Bike Show announced the cancellation of their 2018 event.
In a statement to the Colac Herald, the Lions Club of Colac said it had continually hosted a Sunday market for more than 20 years.
“In all that time we have had very few cancellations, this has been a tremendous effort from our members,” the statement said.
“We are very grateful for all the support we have had from the stallholders over the years.”
The statement said the Lions club’s membership had aged and the work required to organise the market was becoming beyond them.
“Over the years our shire has been helpful in all aspects but with the emergency plans, the licences, the insurances, the list goes on, it is very difficult to follow all this and to have the members with the patience and the expertise to comply.
“Yes they help and run courses to teach us how to comply but once again it comes down to the members’ availability and their knowledge of computer forms and being able to get stallholders to also comply.”
The Lions market has helped raise money for community causes.
“It is sad that it has come to this but it is not all over,” the Lions’ statement said.
“We all need to lobby the shire council to help make the compliance issues easier.”
Colac Lions Club proposes to still host special occasion markets like its Good Friday event.
Colac Otway Shire mayor Chris Potter said the council believed the Lions’ decision to end monthly markets was due to a shortage of members wanting to organise the market and a difficulty in attracting stallholders.
“Additionally Lions have acknowledged a lack of community interest in attending the local event; however they are considering the potential to run special markets for Easter or Christmas,” Cr Potter said.
He said the council issued the Lions club an annual permit covering the market season from July to June to remove the need for monthly paperwork.
The council said all event organisers using public land must have public liability insurance, which was standard across all Victorian councils.
“While most councils require coverage of $20 million, Colac Otway Shire Council requires coverage of $10 million,” Cr Potter said.
For the full story see today’s Colac Herald.