24 April 2018
The Age today has reported on Greens Lord Mayor candidate Rohan Leppert’s plans to protect the gritty, lively nature of the Queen Victoria Market and to change how the market is run.
Cr Leppert’s plan for the Queen Victoria Market precinct renewal in 2018
- Develop a Civic and Cultural Charter for the new park and public square with the public and traders in 2018, and only then undertake the design-process and construction.
- Review the QVM Pty Ltd constitution, particularly the remit and structure of the board of directors. Place directors with direct trader and small business experience on the board, and properly resource and support a genuine Trader Representative Committee.
- Instead of simply appealing the Heritage Victoria decision, work with traders, community groups and the market to reach a new equitable outcome that better respects the heritage of the market.
- Meet with all market traders within 3 months of taking office.
New park and public square
“The Queen Victoria Market is such an important part of Melbourne, and we must protect the gritty, lively nature of our fresh-food market. We cannot let it turn into a shopping centre or upmarket food hall. It does need some change – in particular I have always supported constructing a new park and public square where the current carpark is, which will help the market to thrive even more, but this change must be led by the community in a genuinely consultative process.
“I will develop a Civic and Cultural Charter with the public, shoppers and traders, and require QVM management to abide by this charter. Only once this is done should we proceed with the design of the new park. I want a genuinely exciting process that lets the community have ownership over this space.
“We cannot let our public spaces be taken over by private interests. We’ve seen what a disaster that has been with the State Government allowing Apple to take over public space at Federation Square, trashing good planning processes and trashing the Fed Square Civic and Cultural Charter.”
QVM Pty Ltd governance
“It’s also high time we overhauled the QVM Pty Ltd constitution. It is no longer fit for purpose. It charges the company with generating a profit for Council, but the market isn’t only about profit, it’s also a meeting place for Melbourne and a wonderful fusion of cultures. We should also have more small business and market sales expertise on the board.”
Basement beneath A-D sheds and the Heritage Victoria decision
“What we absolutely have to do as a Council, though, is ensure trader certainty over the short and medium term, while building sustainability for the long term. The recent Heritage Victoria decision over A-D Sheds underground construction has created a lot of uncertainty, and the livelihoods of traders are at stake.”
“We should not crash through with an appeal of the decision to the Heritage Council. I agree with the National Trust that we need immediate consultation between Heritage Victoria and the City of Melbourne to find a solution that protects the heritage of the market. We can’t just crash through with the original market plans, and as Lord Mayor I will lead a process that genuinely consults the community and traders and works with Heritage Victoria.”
The Greens on Council have supported some aspects of the renewal, and opposed others, over the last 5 years:
|· Converting the at-grade carpark to a new inner city park, creating much needed new public open space for a growing population and ameliorating the significant urban heat island effect.
· Purchase of the Munro site to prevent inappropriate land uses next to the market (such as a Coles or Woolworths).
· Substantial community infrastructure in the Munro site, including 120-place childcare centre, 56 affordable housing units, new maternal and child health centre, new community meeting spaces.
· New sustainability infrastructure to improve market operations and waste reduction.
· Development of business cases to demonstrate market financial sustainability and options to secure affordability and profitability in future.
· Establishment of the Trader Compensation Fund. (Cr Leppert established this by way of councillor motion in 2016.)
· Conversion of H and I sheds into a dining hall. (Greens motions stopped this.)
· The extent of demolition of A-D sheds. (Greens motions halved the impact, and Heritage Victoria later refused the application.)
· Construction in the vicinity of the Aboriginal cemetery.
· Constructing the New Market Pavilion given the uncertainty over the A-D sheds underground construction post Heritage Victoria decision. (Cr Leppert motion 2018.)