Three former City of Melbourne councillors, Dr Jackie Watts, Susan Riley and Beverley Pinder, have made the bold move to support community lobby group Friends of Queen Victoria Market (FOQVM).
With 32 collective years of experience work- ing in local government, all three former coun- cillors have supported QVM since 2002.
Having been unsuccessful in her bid for re-election in October, Dr Jackie Watts leaves Town Hall after 10 years on council and has ac- cepted a new role on the committee of FOQVM.
The group’s president Mary-Lou Howie said Dr Watts brought considerable experience in local government, invaluable connections and rational and strategic thinking in helping achieve an appropriate outcome in the revital- isation of the heritage market.
“As a councillor Jackie actively engaged with the concerns of traders and customers regard- ing the proposed market redevelopment and on all QVM issues,” Ms Howie said. “She will make a tremendous contribution in the struggle to protect QVM’s social, cultural and architectural heritage and to achieve an appropriate outcome that will ensure the future of our historic work- ing market for generations to come.”
As the council’s former Knowledge City port- folio chair, Dr Watts, who has for a decade been a supporter of FOQVM, has been outspoken about inappropriate development and a viable economic future.
“The strength of the QVM lies in its traders and the family businesses they run. Support for them means support for an extended community who care for the QVM’s future,” Dr Watts said.
Ms Howie said she was also delighted that former councillors Susan Riley and Beverley Pinder had agreed to become members of her group.
Susan Riley, a former Deputy Lord Mayor, said, “For the love of the market we need to help out and return it to its halcyon days.”
Beverley Pinder, a marketing specialist and the council’s former Chair of People City said, “QVM is a small business, retail, hospitality and community hub and the time is right to boost representation of the aspirations of QVM’s hardworking cohort of traders.”