Sunday 7 June 2015

Trader Representatives Report

Trader Representatives have come a long way since the days when John Magno and Michael Presser (and not too many others) regularly attended Queen Victoria Market Committee meetings that were dominated by an inflexible and controlling management.

Thankfully, these days we have more representatives on board, a management more open to discussion, and a more progressive communication process all round. We have two QVM Board Members sitting in on QVMAC Meetings, a broad cross section of management and, apart from the F&V section, regular attendance of Trader Representatives from all market precincts. We even have our own website to hopefully better inform traders of what is going on.

This is a very busy time with a whole range of issues being considered, including a little thing called “market renewal”. Getting information out is a major task and sometimes the volume is overwhelming. Following is a snapshot of some of the things that Trader Representatives are considering just this week.
1. Final Draft Master Plan on QVM Renewal – Trader representatives are currently going through the final draft to identify any significant changes before public consultation ends later this month.
2. Re-zoning of QVM – what are its implications? – see separate article.
3. Car parking fees – The State Government’s new levy is starting to bite and QVM are flagging possible fee increases. Trader Representatives have warned of the implications of any fee increases.
4. Christmas Trading – management proposals include the possibility of a 10:00am to 10:00pm day/night market on the Wednesday before Christmas 2015 which sound like a great promotion idea, but has real implications particularly for fresh food traders. Much work being done on this.
5. QVM Budget 2015/16 is currently being compiled. Is there sufficient provision for the immediate needs of QVM?
6. Other matters – 
     a. The trader who has been denied access to the night market because of exclusivity arrangements with one supplier.
     b. Compilation of a Draft Engagement and Communications Charter between Traders, Management and CoM.
     c. A review of the communication process so as to better involve traders directly in individual renewal projects that affect them and make use of their on-the-ground expertise.
     d. Ongoing difficulties with the one year licence provision.
     e. Customer Research – research on customer loyalty is currently being devised with input from Trader Representatives.
     f. Lease renewals in various areas of the market.
     g. Etc., etc., etc.

This week there has been some questioning of the performance of Trader Representatives and one of the problems is making traders aware of what is happening behind the scenes. As Editor of this website I must take some responsibility for that. But, to be honest, the volume of activity is beyond the reporting capacity of a part time editor. Ideas from any interested parties on how we might improve that would be most welcome.

When it comes to sales results the GFC and more recent retail difficulties will always weigh heavily on what can be achieved, not just at QVM, but across the globe. I hope that the above list will give traders some idea of the dedication and professionalism being shown by their Trader Representatives as we battle to find a clearer path for all QVM traders.

By Greg Smith – Editor and QVMAC Trader Representative.

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