Traders are anxiously waiting on a couple of planning decisions from Victoria's Planning Minister, Mr Richard Wynne so that we can start moving forward on at least some aspects of renewal. Maybe a difficult decision for Mr. Wynne has just become a little easier.
One of Mr Wynne's concerns was that the planned renewal had few friends, well, as it turns out, the protest group that organised a rally at the market on Friday probably has even fewer. After much publicity and hype and with all the big guns being called out (Phil Cleary, Friends of the Market, and the National Union of Workers) Friday's rally attracted as few as 40 people (according to 3AW radio), "up to 150" (from a couple of observers), and "exactly 87" (from someone who took a photo and counted the heads). That was an eye-opener for many observers.
One of the other aspects of this debate has been the interference from celebrities and although Sigrid Thornton has some credentials as a market customer it is difficult to understand why ex-Prime Minister, Paul Keating, had his say on Melbourne radio on Friday. According to a tweet from ex city councillor, Stephen Mayne, Keating and Cleary were mates in parliament, so maybe that explains his involvement.
But this is all getting a little too political and the intrigue is perhaps best left to "Days of Our Lives" supporters. Traders desperately want to get on with addressing a number of issues at our market as we respond to the big issue of a global retail recession. As one trader said, "It is time we got on the bike and started peddling."
Whatever variation exists in trader sentiment, it is clear that most traders want some form of progress. QVM's Retail Plan was launched this week and maybe it has come at just the right time. If Mr Wynne can also join the party, traders and customers may be able to look to the future with some confidence.