Popular market strikes out bat claim
THE manager of a large southside market has lashed out at claims his markets were like those at Wuhan in China selling illegal wares such as bats.
Woodridge's Global Food Markets manager Dean Khieu said claims the markets were trading in rare animal parts were ridiculous and competitive scaremongering.
He was speaking out after claims on Facebook this month incorrectly likened the markets to Wuhan wet markets where bats were sold.
"The claims are not true and we have never sold bats here," he said.
"If we were doing anything wrong, we would have been shut down but we have successfully operated right throughout the pandemic.
"We have followed all the rules and regulations set by both the state government and the council.
"We bring people together from all over the world and there is no denying it has been difficult, especially patrolling social distancing, but there are no bats being sold here."
Mr Khieu, whose father Paul, started the markets more than 15 years ago to help migrants sell their produce, said he had worked closely with Logan City Council, police and the state Health Department.
He said the state government's further lifting of restrictions on Sunday would help the 70 stallholders who had struggled over the past two months when custom at the Croydon Rd site had dropped by more than 80 per cent.
Claims to the Crime Watch Logan Facebook post on May 10, prior to restrictions easing, prompted calls to Logan mayor Darren Power to close the markets, which use some council land.
The posts said it was unfair large gatherings were allowed at the markets while residents faced large fines for similar meetings.
Logan council said the weekly markets were exempt from the strict coronavirus restrictions because they were an essential service selling fresh produce.
It said most food stalls must obtain a council licence but some are exempt under state laws.
"Markets and stall owners are required to put in place measures to maintain social distancing requirements," the council said.
"Queensland Police are responsible for enforcing social distancing requirements and they have been working closely with markets operating in Logan to ensure they are run appropriately."
On Sunday, large billboards at the entrances to both market sites and signs at every second stall clearly explained the 1.5m distance rule.
Markings on the road directing foot traffic, however, were largely ignored even though many customers wore masks and tried to avoid physical contact.
Originally published as Woodridge not Wuhan: market strikes out bat claim