Saturday 3 March 2018

Traders Speak Out On Renewal

It is interesting how a newspaper article can be taken to mean different things to different people and that certainly happened with today’s Age piece on QVM Renewal. It referred to the Lord Mayoral race in Melbourne and the significance of the city’s QVM renewal project.

The article quoted two political wannabes (Phil Cleary and Gary Morgan) who cast doubt on the future of the QVM Renewal. This led one Trader to suggest the renewal would be abandoned. Another trader suggested that the article was a clear indication that the renewal should, and would, go ahead. He pointed out that Cleary had failed to gain support in previous anti-renewal campaigns, and that Gary Morgan was a serial, and unsuccessful, candidate over many years. The article also included comments from high profile candidates Sally Capp and Ken Ong, and two current Trader Representatives, all who gave the renewal their support.

Deli Trader, Peter Langtry, was quoted in the article “Oh yeah, the redevelopment will go ahead. Every trader here hopes that it does,” Mr Langtry said. “It would be a disaster if it didn’t.” Peter may have overstated how many traders support the renewal, although this writer certainly believes that a clear majority of traders are looking for significant change.

Trader Representative, Marshall Waters, was quoted in relation to Cleary’s possible candidacy “Let’s hope he doesn’t. I would be so disappointed if it all stopped.” He went on to say “We’re ignoring the fact that the retail world has changed. This renewal is a breath of fresh air, and at the end of it all they will all say, ‘Thank goodness this happened’.”

Renewal is hard for traders. It will be disruptive, but “disruptive” is the term used to describe many aspects of this revolution in retail. As one trader said today “Treating QVM Renewal like a political circus is an absolute insult to hard working traders. We need change. Let’s just get on with it!”

By Greg Smith