The market operator and committee have done a fantastic job running the bazaar for two decades as the community watched it develop into the most popular market in the area.
Their very real concern regarding childhood safety whilst skating is reflective of their ongoing interest in the community.
Orthopaedic trauma from skateboarding has been investigated thoroughly.
The results show a surprisingly safe sport; if you wear a helmet and skate in a designated skatepark.
The most common injuries by far, are to the hand/wrist, skin and ankle.
Typically, less than 14 per cent of these require hospital admission and less than five per cent need orthopaedic manipulation (1).
Skating near cars raises the likelihood of and severity of injuries exponentially.
The risk of a significant multi-trauma affecting many organs of the body is high.
These always require hospital admission, often by helicopter.
This is what we face if our kids continue to skate in the Hallidays Point Shopping Centre car park, along Black Head Road and along Cooinda Street during the markets.
This risk is real and exists now.
As outlined in the market committee's letter, the critical thing is to keep kids and cars apart.
The addition of a skatepark in Wylie-Breckenridge Park would quarantine the skating kids to an area completely devoid of vehicles; cars can't be driven onto the skatepark surface.
The kids can't skate where the cars are parked as it is just grass; their skateboard wheels don't work.
The aim of separating kids from cars has been easily achieved.
It is sensible to raise concern about the "big impact on how the market is organised".
The skatepark will, however, have no impact on the market stalls apart from increasing the number of people attending.
Parents know if they attend the bazaar their kids will be safe left in the skatepark, as will their husbands, while they are left to enjoy the markets unhindered.
It may reduce some car spaces but many markets like Tuncurry and Forster don't have a designated parking area.
The committee state: "We are very aware that this will create a very dangerous situation for the children at the skatepark" but this is the situation we have now.
The answer is to put the kids in their skatepark where they will be safe; the cars can't drive on the skatepark and the kids can't skate on the grass.
Much has been said regarding risk and liability, it seems the only insurance mandated by council is on the stall holders who have the usual requirement of public liability.
The MidCoast Council market policy (2019) is completely silent on any liability being placed on the market operator or its committee.
It's illogical to think that a skatepark that is separate from the markets, separate from the grassed area where the cars occasionally park and that has nothing at all to do with the market
Operator would somehow impose risk/liability upon them.
The letter closes by saying: "The bazaar is important to our community and council should consider other options for the skate park before deciding our fate".
The only voice talking about closing the markets is the market committee.
The council and the community want the markets and the skatepark to co-exist, nine days of the year.
Other options have been considered over a number of years and a number of consultations; I was president of the sports committee when it was brought up last century.
Whylie-Breckenridge Park has been chosen as the site for the Hallidays Point Skatepark.
I have always found the market operator and the market committee genuine in their concern for the community, as reflected by their interest in ensuring the safety of skating children.
This needs to be considered, not just for the nine days of the markets, but all year round.
The safety of skating children can be easily met by supporting the council's and the community's decision to build a skatepark in Whylie-Breckenridge Park.
This has been shown time and time again to be the best way of preventing a wrist fracture becoming a multi-trauma or worse.
It achieves the market committee's very sensible aim of keeping the kids separate from the cars.
Dr Bruce White
1. Skateboards: Are they really perilous? A retrospective study from a district hospital
Ulfin Rethnam, 1 Rajam Sheeja Yesupalan, 2 and Amit Sinha 3 .