QVMAC Meetings are now conducted monthly and yesterday’s meeting at the Engagement Hub on Queen St. considered the usual large list of issues. Here are our notes from the discussions. Official minutes will be released in due course.
Victor Ailakis – Chair - (VA) QVM
Jane Fenton AM (JF) – QVM Board
Brendan Devine – (BD) - QVM
Mark Smith (MS) - QVM
Matt Ryan (MR) - QVM
Marina Levitsky (ML) - QVM
Spiros Foscolos (SF) - QVM
Paul Sheahan AM (PS) – QVM Board
Stephen McLennan (SM) QVMAC
Greg Smith (GS) – QVMAC
Jenny Pyke (JP) - QVMAC
Joseph Stolarek (JS) - QVMAC
Kha Nguyen (KN) - QVMAC
Ivano Guseli (IG) QVMAC
George Milonas (GM) QVMAC
Cathy Underhill (CU) – QVMAC
1.2 Previous Minutes – An issue relating to the theft of fish produce over Christmas following a 2 day outage of security cameras has been addressed with a new system of reporting equipment failure for immediate action.
2. Management Updates
2.1 New CEO Update – a preferred candidate has been selected and subject to due diligence we can expect an announcement shortly.
2.2 Chinese New Year Update – a feedback form will be distributed to traders seeking reports on trading during this festival. Anecdotal reports suggested that there was little impact for the specialty merchandise area of the market although crowds were noticeable on the final Saturday of the festival particularly around A Shed.
The festival was reported to have a favourable impact on trade in the meat & fish halls.
Next year the festival is expected to be called a Lunar New Year Festival in consideration of non-Chinese participants.
2.3 Sri Lankan Festival Feedback – The marketing team have received favourable reports from traders on the conduct of this event.
2.4 QVM 2016/17 Tourism Strategy – a brief summary of the tourism strategy was presented to the meeting together with a calendar of events for the second half of the financial year – see below.
2.5 Trader Marketing Session Feedback – see separate article on implementation of trader feedback ideas.
2.6 Public Art Biennial – Biennials are large scale contemporary art exhibitions and QVM will be part of an upcoming Biennial for Melbourne with workshops being set up in the Munro Building around June and an exhibition on display around October 2016. Biennials have the capacity to draw thousands of visitors and it is hoped that this event will produce visitor numbers for QVM.
2.7 QVM Performance Measures – this matter has been held over subject to further input.
2.8 Trading Ideas Workshop – following the success of the last workshop which looked at marketing ideas, the next workshop is to be held on Tuesday 9th March and it will concentrate on 4 distinct areas
(1) Trader/Management Communication – the best way to give and get information across our market.
(2) Rule Enforcement - a chance to have your say on this prickly subject.
(3) The Customer Experience at QVM – what do our customers want, and what do they get.
(4) Trader Development & Support Programs – what areas of learning would traders consider most valuable e.g. websites, social media, technology etc.
More details will be available in next week’s Trader Bulletin.
2.9 Plan for Project Updates to QVMAC – QVMAC meetings are now held monthly as we lead into the renewal phase. The first discussion on renewal implementation could start as early as March and management are formulating ways of speedy and efficient updates to roll out to QVMAC Trader representatives as we progress. More details will be presented at the March QVMAC meeting.
3. Trader Matters
3.1 Trader Association Update - Jenny Pyke and Greg Smith gave a brief rundown on progress in the development of a traders association. The first stage has been the compilation of a set of Purposes & Values statements that would guide the association. A draft document has been prepared and is expected to be finalised next week before being presented to traders for comment.
3.2 Meat & Fish Hall Leases Update – a number of leases are due for renewal but remain “in limbo” while renewal issues create uncertainty over the future of leases. All traders are still covered by a lease however there are business difficulties associated with unspecified lease terms. It is difficult to obtain business finance or to sell a business without lease term guarantees. Marina Levitsky has offered assistance to any trader facing difficulties and to explore what assurances can be offered to lenders or buyers in individual circumstances.
3.3 Extended Leave Letter – this matter relates to traders returning from extended leave and receiving a standard letter which may cast doubts on their tenancy at the market. The standard letter has been reviewed and a revised version will be emailed to Trader Representatives shortly.
4. Discussion Items
4.1 Trader Assessment Criteria – this criteria relates to assessment of traders seeking permanency, renewing a license or lease, seeking a new location, or applying to join our market. A proposal put by Trader Representatives for a comprehensive assessment form which included weighting factors has been adopted by management and incorporated in their assessment program. We can expect full documentation shortly including provision for Trader Representatives to be included in the process if requested by a trader.
4.2 Stall Spreading – this issue relates to the uncertainty of stall spreading procedures in the top end. It has been generally agreed by traders and management that firmer and clearer guidelines are required and some initial discussion has already taken place with the Operations Team. We expect to invite traders to discussion workshops towards the end of March to establish new arrangements.
4.3 Extreme Heat Policy - Trader representatives have submitted a proposal for traders, 65 years of age and over, to receive automatic approval for leave of absence on days of 36 degrees C or more. Discussion on the proposal took place and management are currently considering their response.
5. Other Business
5.1 Other Items – QVM have announced that they are putting the market’s cleaning contract out to tender. It is expected that the current contractor, Citywide, will formulate a bid.
5.2 Next Meeting – Thursday 31st March 2016.