Last night’s Future Melbourne Committee’s approval of new Infrastructure and Car Parking facilities was indeed a momentous occasion for QVM but it is just a start.
It has been 7 years since the first realisation that our market had been neglected, and significant investment was needed to ensure we were competitive in a very competitive retail world.
A few hiccups along the way (most notably the rejection of the primary underground proposal by Heritage Victoria) and now we have a proposal that will set a base for progress.
There have been many contributions to this point including
- the People’s Panel and the multitude of traders and the wider market community who contributed to its findings, many of which have been taken up in the new plan.
- QVM management who have taken up much of the load and championed the needs of the market.
- CoM and it’s renewal team who have tirelessly presented and adjusted options to achieve an outcome.
- City Councillors who have devoted so much time to QVM matters, suffered the same frustrations that everyone else has experienced, but continue to remain positive and up-beat and supportive of the project whilst being mindful of the impact on traders.
- Traders who have pushed for progress.
BUT - this is just a base for moving forward. The retail revolution is not going to wait for us to get back of house in order. The rest of the retail world is charging ahead with innovation and consumers are revelling in their new found power. We have a lot to do. And the WE means traders and management. Traders need to find new ways to excite their customers and particularly meet their demands for convenience while management need to provide us with an environment that allows all that to happen.
I have the champagne ready but the cork doesn’t come out just yet.
By Greg Smith