Salamanca closed in high wind

Written By miftah nugraha on Sabtu, 27 April 2013 | 19.55

Unhappy that Salamanca Market was cancelled, flower stallholder Lisa Kingston, of Woodbridge, decided to trade from the back of her van. Pictures: NIKKI DAVIS-JONES

HIGH winds this morning forced the cancellation of Salamanca Market, disrupting the plans of stallholders and customers alike.

Hobart City Council general manager Nick Heath made the call after the Tasmanian Bureau of Meteorology warned of damaging winds, with gusts expected to exceed 100km/h.

"We have not taken this decision lightly and have cancelled the market because the current forecast weather conditions are seen to pose a threat to the safety of the public, stallholders and the market crew," Mr Heath said.

He said stallholders were informed by text message where possible, and also by the market crew.

The stallholders will have their market site fees for the day refunded.

Despite the council's caution, many vendors and customers were left perplexed by the decision.

"We live in Tasmania, and it is windy here. I think it's paranoia," said flower seller Lisa Kingston, of Woodbridge, who had set up her van outside the Knopwood's Retreat to try to salvage her day.

"The market's other flower people have gone home, and I've discounted everything. Other stallholders have come and supported me, which is fantastic."

Marie Van Degumster, of the Summer Kitchen Organic Bakery, said the council was treating stallholders like children.

"This is an absolute disaster. I have a bakery full of product that I can't sell," she said.

"There's no way I can recoup our money."

Market regular Susie Riddich said the market's cancellation had ruined her entertaining plans.

"I'm devastated," she said.

"I was here to get fruit and vegetables for my dinner party -- now I'm really stuck.

"I buy vegetables from the Hmongs every week. The opportunity is gone now.

"I'm going to the UK next week and was also here to buy presents."

But Salamanca Stallholders Association president Kerry O'Rourke said he was "100 per cent behind the council's decision".

"If the council knew about the wind forecast and someone got injured there'd be real trouble," he said.

Mr O'Rourke said he understood the frustration of some vendors who were reliant on the Saturday market for their income, but the decision to close the market was about protecting both people and property.

"It's cost a lot of people money but if you close it for one, you close it for all," he said.

"The council are just doing it to protect us. It could wreck a lot of the stores too.

"I've seen the wind twist stalls up before and absolutely demolish them"

Read more in tomorrow's Sunday Tasmanian

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