Page 776 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 26 February 2013

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The markets perfectly complement the Canberra Glassworks, opened in 2007 in the old powerhouse. They both add to the experience and draw visitors to each other on Sundays.

On average, there are over 200 stallholders at the markets each week, with a pre-Christmas peak of up to 270 stallholders. The markets add to the character of Canberra, providing a unique outlet for small business people, artists and crafts people to engage Canberrans as well as visitors.

Speaking of visitors, between 7,000 and 9,000 people visit the markets each Sunday. However, higher numbers are attracted to the monthly special events such as the international multicultural day which will be held on March 17 and during Christmas and holidays.

The markets conducted a survey of visitors over a couple of winter weekends in July and August last year. Visitor numbers ranged from 7,800 to 9,300 and they had a very high satisfaction rating. Interstate or overseas visitors made up 35 per cent of the survey respondents, showing the markets’ significant impact on the tourism mix in Canberra.

Visitors often come to Canberra for the great events or the national institutions but also enjoy the hustle and bustle of the markets and the chance to mix with Canberrans, perhaps enjoying a coffee and a bite to eat or buying a unique memento of their time in the national capital.

Special events keep the markets constantly alive. On Sunday, March 10, the old 1949 Canberra bus Matilda will return to the bus depot. It is part of a centennial celebration of our public transport history. It is also a celebration of the Canberra transport workers who kept the wheels rolling out of the old quirky buildings that have found a new life as the markets go into Canberra’s second century.

Yellow Van

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (5.19): I rise tonight to talk to the Assembly about a special part of community work that occurs right across Canberra. That is the Yellow Van. No doubt, many of our members have heard about the work that the Yellow Van does. It is the only food rescue service in Canberra. It assists a range of agencies, including domestic violence refuges, disability support services, homeless shelters, youth drop-in centres, mental health support groups, people with drug and alcohol or gambling problems, refugee programs, school breakfast programs and other programs assisting those who have financial difficulties. I have quoted that information from their website.

The food rescue model of the Yellow Van is efficient and practical. Less than $1 a meal is the cost of the rescue. Those meals are transported and delivered to Care and Share and 80 other charities across Canberra who ensure the most needy in our community are looked after.

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