Progress on market redevelopment

At their meeting on August 29, City of Melbourne councillors unanimously endorsed a statement of expectations about the future of the Queen Victoria Market (QVM).

Some 12 principles under four headings were endorsed to guide the council-owned company that runs the market.

During the same council meeting, councillors noted additional funding of $59.7 million into the QVM Renewal Program Reserve fund – $28.2 million previously budgeted and $31.5 from the sale of the City Square car park.

Councillors also voted to apply for planning and heritage permission to remove the western ends of sheds A to D to construct a three-level (plus mezzanine) basement.

Acting lord mayor Cr Arron Wood told the meeting the basement would result in less disruption for traders and a temporary pavilion in Queens St of only half the size than was anticipated.

Councillors said the creation and publishing of the statement of expectations was to combat false and conspiratorial information about the council’s intentions for the market.

Cr Rohan Leppert said: “There’s been a lot of information flying around that hasn’t always been a truthful representation of council’s expectations.”

Cr Wood said: “You can see there, in black and white, answers to the questions that have been asked.”

“I hope this statement of expectations meets a lot of the concerns that have been raised. And I hope this shows how serious we are about retaining the best of the Queen Victoria Market while ensuring its sustainability into the future.”

Cr Jackie Watts said: “It will put to bed, I think, some of the alarm around the whole development.”

The statement of expectations is:

SUPPORTING CUSTOMERS AND TRADERS

1) Recognise, protect and expand the market’s original and primary role as a fresh food market.

2) Enhance the customer experience and ensure customers continue to view the Queen Victoria Market as relevant.

3) Support existing traders during renewal by ensuring average annual increases in fees are based on current lease and licence provisions.

4) Support traders to further develop their businesses, including working with traders to develop and implement a Trader Transition Plan and Trader Support Program during the QVMPR Program.

5) Ensure trading and retail space supports independent retail and small to medium sized businesses, not large chains or supermarkets.

RETAINING THE MARKET’S HERITAGE AND TRADITIONS

6) Demonstrate stewardship in preserving the market as one of the great open air markets of the world, retaining its heritage, traditions, unique offer, diverse community of market traders, gritty atmosphere and authenticity into the future.

7) Work collaboratively with the City of Melbourne, traders and the community to ensure the historic and pre and post European cultural heritage of the market is preserved.

SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENT OUTCOMES

8) Demonstrate efforts to reduce waste and minimise environmental impacts in market operations.

9) Engage with the local community to ensure high levels of local ownership and activation.

EFFECTIVE GOVERNANCE AND FINANCIAL OVERSIGHT

10) Ensure the company is financially sustainable and self-sufficient with the aim of break-even during renewal after allowing for trader support.

11) Ensure effective operating models and controls are in place to minimise financial, probity, procurement, security and OHS risks to the CoM. This includes abiding by relevant City of Melbourne policies and processes.

12) Work collaboratively with the City of Melbourne management to deliver the key benefits outlined in the QVMPR Program Business Case (June 2017) and continue to engage to ensure strong alignment between QVM activities and the City of Melbourne’s policy positions.

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