INDEPENDENT takes to the courts to protect local community events and Markets

Do you oppose the closure of local Markets, Fetes, fundraisers and Community events!

market and some cars, x trail 050

 

 

“A recent legal attack on local markets, fetes and community events by self interest in the grocery industry has left doubt regarding the future of community events” says Mark Aldridge Independent candidate for Makin and founder of Farm Direct community markets.

The initial opposition was about Markets effects on businesses in the vicinity, but turned sour when our Markets relocation was approved and the approval was appealed in the ERD court (Environment and Development Court), says Mark

The legal team fighting our approval used an argument that has created a legal precedent that now has the ability to affect community events all over Australia.

I joined the action and studied hard to be a voice for the community in the courts, working with the council’s lawyers, but sadly we were out gunned on the day.

The finding has determined that a trestle table is now a shop, and a group of them is a shopping centre, putting community events like markets at conflict with local development law.

Where once they were considered merit applications (supported by the community) they are now considered non complying developments. The immediate effect of this change/precedent is that all regular community events must endure massive red tape and approvals at many levels, including the development assessment panel and with the state government.

“The costs alone could see the end of many present and future events and markets” says Mark.

It has become clear the community are opposed to this new precedent and are supporting of local and community events, so it is time for the state and commonwealth governments to step in and protect the community my amending the definition of a stall in the local legislation.

The community at large would indeed consider local events and markets as a merit form of development, so that should be reflected in the legislation.

Until then I have personally appealed the decision by the ERD court which will be heard before the full bench of the Supreme Court at, which will be heard in early August 2016.

The appeal is being sponsored by my markets and by the community itself though a successful online fundraising program, says Mark.

I have managed to get pro-bono legal support from a local law firm who also care about the local community and one of South Australia’s leading QC’s.

We hope to overturn the decision of the ERD court and put pressure on state and local governments to re-define the legislation to thwart any future attacks on local community events all over Australia.

The sad part of this story is the fact Parliament can sort all this by simple changes to the definitions in development law, but calls for their support have been met with silence. I tried contacting most existing members, even Nick, and no one has stood behind me other than State MP Mark Parnell.

Farmers markets, produce markets and local events are a not only great avenues to get the public out and about, they have become a god sent to our smaller farmers and producers, in fact a variety of small businesses in recent times, so the implications of this fight are wide spread.

There has even been court actions lodged to silence me speaking on these matters which I am vigorously defending in the District court, which clearly shows how powerful our opposition has become, says Mark

My markets not only protect the smaller operators, help create real local jobs, they also promote healthy eating, restore access to affordable fresh produce and help show case the best produce Australia has to offer.

I will not back down from this fight, as it has taken us many years working with the local community to build our markets, and since this Market was erupted we have seen way to many markets close down in the local area, in a time I believe we need even more.

Mark Aldridge Independent candidate for Makin………….a difference.

aldridgemark@bigpond.com   08 82847482 / 0403379500

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