SURFERS Paradise market holders will be slapped with a 30 per cent hike in stall fees after nearby shopkeepers complained they were cutting their business.
The Bulletin reports, each stall operator will pay an extra $15 per market from July 1, bringing their weekly charges to $100.
Gold Coast City Council last week voted to approve the Surfers Paradise Alliance request to increase fees for the next financial year.
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Area councillor Lex Bell, who supported the fee spike, said the increase was motivated by complaints from commercial traders.
“There was concern the fees were too low and it was causing unfair competition with the shopping centres,” he said.
“There was a feeling the markets were creating unfair competition and the response was to increase fees to make things more competitive.
“The shopping centres were concerned the markets were taking away some of the spending power and that this will address the issue and put everyone on a level playing field.”
Long-time traders have slammed as “deeply disappointing”.
Maggie Brimble has had a stall at the biweekly markets for more than 10 years and said there was no choice but to “cop it sweet”.
“It is pretty disappointing because it is obviously a fair amount of money out of the wallet each week,” she said.
“It is not unexpected but there is not much we can do but cop it sweet.”
Original article written by Andrew Potts, To read it in full, head to the Gold Coast Bulletin website.