Oakleigh resident Chris Pearson has spent the last two Sunday mornings at the market collecting signatures from visitors, stallholders and local traders who have expressed shock and anger at Monash Council plans to sell Oakleigh’s major car park, and site of the community market, to developers.
“This is a terrible decision by six councillors who clearly don’t understand just how important this market is to the local community. The Rotary Market, with its fruit and vegetables – much of it grown in Oakleigh gardens – and bric-a-brac, complements the village atmosphere of Oakleigh. It’s a place that locals and visitors meet before enjoying a coffee and cake in Eaton Mall.”
So far over 800 people agree with Chris, who is founder of ‘Save Oakleigh Rotary Market’.
“With the help of Councillor Steve Dimopoulos and Oakleigh Rotary Market chairman Peter Norman, we have collected 816 signatures. People are genuinely horrified at the thought of this colourful Oakleigh institution being evicted for another soulless development.”
Councillor Dimopoulos expressed his disappointment with the decision.
“We can do much better than this. What this is giving us is just a mediocre, unimaginative apartment block and we’re losing many car parks on such an important piece of land in Oakleigh.”
Oakleigh Rotary Market chairman Peter Norman is not happy with any of the suggested replacement sites either.
“There is no other alternate site at present that allows us to run the market as effectively as we now do. The present site caters for 160 stalls and the best alternative, we understand, is 90 stalls.”
The Oakleigh Rotary Market contributes over $70,000 to local community organisations every year and, since its existence at Hanover Street, Peter Norman estimates that the market has donated over a million dollars to worthy community groups.
A rally to keep the market at its present location has been organised for 10.00 am on Sunday October 19 at the Hanover Street site. Entertainment will be provided by local musician Tracey Miller.