Friday 7 June 2013

Four Key Sheds Feature In QVM Re-development Plan

Like pieces of a jigsaw, evidence has been mounting of a plan to create an events/mixed use space on the site of J,K,L, and M sheds at our Queen Victoria Market.

Back in February 2012 the MCC attempted to have J,K,L, and M sheds heritage listing re-classified to allow their possible removal. At last Tuesday nights Council meeting a document was tabled which seems to indicate the intention to house a $25m community centre on the site of J,K,L,M. That community centre is not scheduled for construction until 2019. A lot can happen between now and 2019 but it is interesting to get a view of Council's intentions.

Establishment of a community or events space should not come as a surprise because it has been a regular feature of recent market renewal projects across the globe. Creating multi-use spaces is seen as a key part of re-inventing markets to allow for 24 hour, 7 days a week, operation. If JKLM sheds are converted for multi use, it doesn't necessarily preclude some sort of market stall operation as well, although some stall displacement is likely.

At yesterdays Trader Advisory Committee meeting Trader Representatives registered their extreme disappointment that Council did not see fit to advise us of their intentions. Management/Board/Council have repeatedly claimed that no renewal plans have been decided on and yet this community centre proposal seems to make it clear that specific plans are in the pipeline and those plans impact significantly on four key trading sheds.

Traders simply ask for a higher level of transparency that acknowledges our significant financial and lifestyle commitment to QVM.  Just as Council are making plans for our future we expect to have sufficient information to make our own plans. That is not too much to ask. Indeed, we should demand it.

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