November 13, 2019

Vic Market to be open all hours

first_imgMelbourne’s Queen Victoria Market will be open seven days – and nights – a week under a $250 million redevelopment plan launched this week by Lord Mayor Robert Doyle.The draft plan – the result of 18 months of talks – has been conceived to secure the market’s viability over the next 80 years.The City of Melbourne’s proposals include a revolutionary new schedule that could see stalls open three times more often – increasing the turnover of the market from $91 million to $690 million a year.Mayor Doyle said current trading hours were too limited and extending shopping times would allow a wider variety of stalls. Currently the market shuts up shop as early as 2.00 pm and is closed two days a week.“We intend this to be a market so that it gets used from first thing in the morning right through into the evening and night-time,” said the mayor.The plan includes transforming the main car park on Queen Street into a green plaza, which will include a monument commemorating the site as Melbourne’s first cemetery. Franklin Street will be realigned to run next to the plaza as a tree-lined boulevard including footpaths and bike lanes.Cr Doyle said the area would create a vibrant meeting place linked to a pedestrian-friendly section between Victoria and Therry Streets.“During the day, in the evening and even into the night you’ll go down to the market and the lights will be on.”A move to build a car park under the market’s heritage sheds has been abandoned after the council’s recent $76 million purchase of warehouses and shops on the corner of Queen and Therry streets.The draft masterplan – now open to public consultation – suggests that when implemented it could result in a four-fold increase in jobs.Sections such as the Dairy Produce Hall, Meat and Fish Hall and heritage sheds are to be retained but improved with new amenities.Meanwhile traders, many of who were deeply concerned over the original underground car park idea, have expressed qualified support for the planKon Kardaras, president of the Queen Victoria Market Traders’ Association, told the ABC that the market had been under-utilised for years.Mr Kardaras said while cafés and bars would find it easy to stay open seven days a week, it would be difficult for some of the market’s “family-based” traders.“If we were to move to a system of a seven-day-a-week operation, you really can’t sustain that family-based model,” he said.“Changing that will change the fundamental feel and the vibe of market.“Let me assure you traders and myself are very, very clear the fundamental feel of the market cannot change.”Fishmonger George Milonas told reporters he welcomed the council’s proposals.“We already have a good market but it desperately needs an upgrade because it’s been neglected for 20 years,” he said.Between 2 March and 29 March you can share your thoughts on the City of Melbourne’s plan for Queen Victoria Market’s redevelopment at http://participate.melbourne.vic.gov.au/projects/queenvictoriamarket/, or visit the QMV’s ‘engagement hub’ at 452 Queen Street. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img

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