Social distancing on display at the Northey Street City Farm Organic Markets, Windsor. Photo: Liam Kidston.
Social distancing on display at the Northey Street City Farm Organic Markets, Windsor. Photo: Liam Kidston.

Calls for crowd spotters to police shoppers at markets

LABOR has called for council crowd-spotters at outdoor markets after residents were caught out blatantly ignoring social distancing rules at Brisbane's most popular markets on the weekend.

Opposition Leader Jared Cassidy has written to the Lord Mayor asking for council officers to monitor food markets so police can be notified instantly if crowds get out of control.

"The situation is too serious to rely on random social media posts. Council officials should be on hand to ensure action is taken immediately and not left to chance," Cr Cassidy said.

"I agree with the Premier that markets should be closed if social distancing is not being practised."

Large crowds were photographed attending the Jan Powers Powerhouse Farmers' Markets at New Farm on Saturday reportedly defying the 1.5m rules imposed by the Federal Government in similar scenes to Sydney's Manly markets on Friday.

Confirmed COVID-19 Cases in QLD

A Brisbane City Council spokesman said yesterday any decision to formally close the market would fall to State and Federal Governments and Council continued to work closely with Queensland Health and to be guided by them on all matters of public health.

Cr Cassidy also called for a moratorium on fees for extra bin collections.

He said residents were reporting their bins - general rubbish, recycling and green waste - were being filled far quicker than usual because more people were at home.

Cr Cassidy said in the interest of public health, council should waive the $37.10 extra bin collection fee until the pandemic has passed.

"The last thing we need is overflowing bins sitting around," Cr Cassidy said.

"I've also asked the Lord Mayor to investigate whether the contractors have capacity to increase collections."

Cr Cassidy said the Labor Opposition had assured the administration of bipartisan support for measures to stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Lord Mayor's office has been contacted for comment.

Originally published as Calls for crowd spotters to police shoppers at markets