Monday, 3 October 2016
The Queen Victoria Market renewal is a large and complicated project that the current Council has been grappling with; it will be front and centre of the new Council’s work as well, and is playing a large part in the election campaign.
The Greens, though not the original proponents of the renewal project, have a strong and proud record in making major changes to the proposals to avoid the purpose, character and heritage of the market being compromised, and to ensure the strongest possible public benefits and outcomes.
As local residents and long-term weekly shoppers at the market, current Councillors Rohan Leppert and Cathy Oke have led the charge on retaining the market’s character and purpose, and ensuring that any ‘renewal’ does not detract from that which makes the market unique: its heritage, its diverse trader community and its essential role in providing fresh fruit and vegetables to inner city communities and visitors.
The Greens on Council have:
- Guaranteed the continued sale of fresh fruit and vegetables in the H and I sheds, by securing Council’s support to overrule the proposal to turn these sheds into a dining hall;
- Ensured that the market is rezoned to ‘public use zone’ rather than the highly problematic ‘Capital City Zone’, to ensure its purpose and recognition is enshrined in the planning scheme;
- Established a compensation fund for traders whose businesses are affected during the renewal;
- Required that a solid case be made regarding the need and extent of underground construction. We have ensured that Council considers this matter as a standalone decision only after the case has been made and Heritage Victoria has scrutinised the proposals thoroughly, in the interests of transparency and in the interests of ensuring that the magnificent heritage sheds are not compromised. We have also ensured that no construction occurs in the vicinity of the Aboriginal section of the old cemetery;
- Successfully advocated for any higher buildings on the Munro site to not be built above the Mercat Cross Hotel, and instead be built closer to Elizabeth Street. Though the adopted height controls advocate for 100m, the height of the built form above the Mercat Cross will be substantially lower than this, and well set back from the heritage building edges;
- Ensured that childcare, community facilities and affordable housing units are included in any development on the Munro site.
Whenever proposals have come to Council or Committee to take the Queen Victoria Market renewal project forward, only the Greens have moved amendments to those proposals. We have scrutinised the proposals extremely closely, and have led the charge on removing aspects of the proposals that are unacceptable to the market community, advocating instead for outcomes that protect and respect the purpose, character and heritage of the market.
But there is plenty more work to do to ensure that the Queen Victoria Market continues to operate sustainably as a unique inner city fresh produce market.
The Greens want:
- To comprehensively review and update the constitution of the Queen Victoria Market Pty Ltd. The remit of the market’s board and management is to make a buck and return a fee to Council, but the market’s purpose is about so much more. It’s time the governance of the market was properly reviewed.
- Council to release a clear and transparent account of the renewal budget.
- The Retail Strategy of the Market to undergo extensive trader and public consultation, so that the lifeblood of the market – the diverse and vibrant traders, and the loyal shoppers – can be confident that the future of the market is sustainable and continues to be a prosperous fresh produce and general market.
- Any development on the periphery of the market to be designed to the highest quality, respecting the heritage of the market and surrounds and making a significantly positive contribution to the public realm and to community infrastructure. There is no reason why development around the market cannot be world-leading in energy and water efficiency.
Greens on Council meet with shoppers, traders, locals and the market management regularly, to ensure that we are getting our roles as public representatives right – and our pledge is to keep doing this, to ensure that the market that we all love is refurbished in such a way as to ensure its purpose, character and heritage are kept for generations to come.
You can contact your Greens Councillors and candidates here.
- Voting record of all current Councillors on Queen Victoria Market renewal projects. Here. (Greens amendments to implementation plan on pages 13 to 15.)
- Successful Greens motion to establish a compensation fund for Queen Victoria Market traders. Here.
- Queen Victoria Market Renewal information and public consultation processes. Here.