Friday, January 15, 2010

Sometimes you have to wonder if its all worth it...

Our lovely postman stopped at the letterbox at around 10.30am this morning.  He's so nice.  We were outside and he stopped his bike, turned it off and had a little chat just like he always does when we're around.

He gave us the mail and went on his way.

There was one for me in a Launceston City Council envelope.  A reminder that a new development application must be lodged with the LCC including a little fee to go along with it of around $600.  I paid this fee the first time I lodged the application and the Council put a 6 month trial period stipulation on it.  When there were no formal (or informal for that matter) objections and no follow up from the Council after this period, I thought we were ok to trade on.

So now this letter states:
"There is no information on Council records indicating that a new development application has been lodged.  Until such time that a new application is approved by Council, the Civic Homespun Market must cease operating immediately.
Any further operation of this market will result in Council seeking immediate legal action."

Thanks Launceston City Council.  I must now spend all weekend writing another development application for an existing market that has proven to build Launceston's reputation among tourists, livens the central city on an otherwise dull day and brings together artists and craftspeople to exhibit in their home town.  And to boot, I must pay you for the priviledge of rubber stamping it to say that it's ok after all. 

Do you know what?  I don't mind writing the application again, its the fee to which I object.

I know that the market hobart and handmade hobart, both in similar buildings within central city boundaries didn't have to jump through these costly and time consuming hoops.

It makes me wonder whether I should cut my losses, close the market, take my stock and go market hopping in other cities in Tas and interstate every other weekend.  One thing is for sure: I will make money doing that.


  1. LCC really have no idea do they?! Good luck with it - we bought a bunch of Chrissy presents from your lovely market and if I'm in town on a day you're open I love to pop in for a browse :)

    LCC gave me no end of hassle with my (home based, online) business as well. In the end I paid them the appropriate "operating from home" fees and got a nice little EFTPOS receipt, and after that...nothing. Horrid little paper pushers!

  2. This is disgusting Tameeka... A major let down. This town seems to have a habit of killing all new, fresh, innovative ideas such as Civic Homespun. What happened to the Council being about the little people, supporting those in its community and giving us opportunities to do what we do best?

    I have a lot of "beef" with the LCC.
    Instead of putting in proper, easily accessible public toilets in the Mall area... they built a useless (ugly) stage which only gets used 3:30pm - 5:00pm Mon - Fri.

    The logic of such things, is unreal!

  3. the LCC need to get their act together! How can they charge you again becuase they did come to a decision?! sad, sad, sad

    even sadder is that they can't see what a great thing Homespun is for locals and tourists alike

  4. Hi Tameeka, something feels wrong about this.They impose a 6 month trial and then fail to oversee their own conditions? One could resonably assume this trial is like a dfeferral period, where council could asses the market,gather more information and then make a decision on the 1st application.If they have failed to do this, why pay another fee until you have formal notification of a council descision(minuted) from the first application.Therfore you could conatact a Sympathetic Alderman that supports the endeavour and discuss what were the outcomes of the first application, based on information gained in the trial period, and determine why the appropriate department as a courtesy,failed to notify you after the trial period of a formal Council decision. If all else fails, go public! Good Luck Tameeka,

  5. Sorry to hear about all of this. Gotta love beaurocrats!! I hope you can find a way to keep Homespun going, it would be too much of a shame to see it go. I would be asking for more information and speaking to as many folks on the LCC as you can! Best of luck! Kick up a fuss!

  6. Bloody typical Tameeka of the LCC. If I can do anything to help please do not hesitate to contact me. I am tired of the LCC putting a stop to progress. Why does it seem they are having a problem with the market operating in the first place?? We need some media attention and contact someone on the council who can help. You should definately not have to re-pay the fee.


  7. Tameeka - I feel that Rosemary Armitage might be the key to all of this... My father is rather friendly with her (invited to a family gathering coming up) and she has always had a bit of a flair for such things... perhaps a good sit-down with her would be in order?

    She seems in tune with what we are doing - as she was at our opening, has been at a few arty-related events that I've been to.. and also has a blog - - which speaks so much, in the terms that she is open to innovation and new ways of doing things...

    If you would like my support (physical/vocal/thought) then please, just email me... I've been there since the start of Civic Homespun, and would hate to see it fade away... If more suppport was offered from the LCC, I think you'd find it would benefit the crafters as well as the consumer-community... therefore, I'd be ditchin' shifts at my other job more often to make the market!

    My support is with you 100%!

  8. Watch out they dont push you out and after assessing your market do something themselves, It's been done before!

  9. Thanks so much to everyone for your advice and support. It seems a ludicrous situation. Here I am again a civi with no local government experience on how things work at that level and I'm sure if you're in the know, then you get around such issues. I'm hoping to get in touch with a few contacts I have at LCC tomorrow and am praying for a sympathetic ear somewhere. I know I have to handle this one with kid gloves as the LCC is so much bigger than me and have the upper hand in this situation. I'll let you know how I go later in the week :)