Media Release

Markets, stalls and garage sales at risk

22/01/2016 1:00 pm

Yesterday’s decision by the Environment Resources and Development Court* classifying temporary market stalls as “shops” has serious implications for all markets, garage sales, swap meets, fetes and other community events where goods are sold in South Australia, according to Greens SA Parliamentary Leader and former planning lawyer, Mark Parnell MLC.

“This judgment is extremely worrying and highlights the need for the Government and Parliament to fix our planning laws so that innovation and community endeavor isn’t unnecessarily stymied”, said Mr Parnell.

“This ruling opens the door for “bricks and mortar” businesses to delay or prevent farmers’ markets or even school fetes and sausage sizzles.

“This issue is even bigger than food trucks vs cafes; or taxis vs Uber, because it also catches non-profit community events in its web.” Mr Parnell said.

Whilst the full legal implications are yet to be determined, the Court has decided that temporary trestle tables and gazebos are “shops” and that more than one is a “group of shops”.  As such, they require planning approval.  If local zoning defines shops as “non-complying” (including most open space zones and many residential zones), then the organisers must obtain BOTH local Council AND Development Assessment Commission approval before proceeding.  It also means that any approval granted can be challenged in Court.

This means that the delay, expense and bureaucracy around small community events could make them unviable.

Back in December, the Greens moved amendments to the new Planning, Development and Infrastructure Bill to fix this problem.  Labor and Liberal combined to defeat this amendment, but the issue now needs to be put squarely back on the agenda following this most recent ruling.
When Parliament resumes in February, the Greens will move new amendments to ensure that unnecessary regulation doesn’t stifle community endeavour and alternative economic opportunities.

* Johnston v City of Salisbury & Anor. [2016] SAERDC 1 (Judge Costello 21/1/2016)

printer friendly version

Get email updates