“Oh and one more thing, the unfortunate fact is that Traders over the years have often been treated with varying levels of disrespect and disdain, granted some of that we have brought upon ourselves. Nevertheless, we are not all prone to paranoia and conspiracy theories and we are also not totally devoid of intelligence and awareness. We are however generally mistrustful, due largely to the cold hard facts linked to our personal experience with the Market, its management, and what appears to us as general disinterest and apathy towards Trader’s issues at the Market.
So whilst it is true that there has been a level of engagement of late, and indications are that the engagement may well continue and intensify, the truth is you cannot undo years worth of inaction and disinterest overnight. In Trader’s minds it is yet to be established whether this new approach is a result of a true sincere interest in Trader welfare or political opportunism. Especially since the invitation in April to meet with the Lord Mayor was seemingly due to a letter sent to the Lord Mayor by a Trader and hence a Trader led initiative.
The question is further complicated if you look at timelines on the public record at the council website. You can't help noting that consultation on QVM objectives was supposed to have been completed by June 2012, but has been delayed due to a "project awaiting confirmation with State Government", ( a project we know practically nothing about, have had no real input in developing, and possibly were to have it thrust upon us as a done deal ). The suggestion there is that the intention to re-develop had been made well beforehand, yet if it wasn't for a Trader led initiative, who knows when Trader engagement at any level would have begun.
One would hope that that approach, that management "style", has been cast aside and there will be some real engagement with Traders (or their representatives) because that is the only road that can build trust and confidence and not further erode an already fragile fledgling relationship between the parties involved.
So here's the challenge to the Lord Mayor and Council, to the Board and to QVM management - stop withholding information and excluding Traders from the process, and start including Traders in meaningful open discussions about what has been developed so far without us. Come clean, tell us, no show us, the "project", because if it is simply thrust upon us hoping for our support with little or no real input from Traders it is much less likely to be embraced and endorsed by Traders.
Whilst many roads have led to the general distrustful attitude that Traders often display, there is only one real road that can lead us to a new age of trust, confidence, mutual respect and collaboration and that is trust, confidence, mutual respect and collaboration."