Petition launched to protect Queen Vic Market from becoming an “entertainment/hospitality precinct”

Petition launched to protect Queen Vic Market from becoming an “entertainment/hospitality precinct”
Brendan Rees

A petition has been launched calling for the City of Melbourne to protect Queen Victoria Market amid concerns that the market’s heritage and authenticity are at risk due to the renewal project.

The petition, created by Friends of the Queen Victoria Market, highlights the importance of preserving the 140-year-old market as a historic and iconic landmark.

“The current renewal plans for Queen Victoria Market are changing our market into an entertainment/hospitality precinct,” the petition reads.

“We are calling on the City of Melbourne to ensure that its renewal plans protect and prioritise Queen Victoria Market’s viability as Melbourne’s traditional, fresh food and general merchandise market, and to genuinely listen to and act on the market community's concerns.”

The council’s $268 million market renewal program includes projects such as a new food hall, heritage shed restoration, construction of a trader shed, restoring heritage buildings, a pop-up park, a pedestrian plaza in Queen St.

The Munro development has delivered a community hub at the corner of Queen and Therry streets including a newly opened library.

More recently, the council received the green light by Heritage Victoria and the state government to build three towers at the market’s southern end – a council partnership with developer Lendlease (pictured is an artist's impression of the proposal).

The plan also includes a 1.8-hectare public park, and the restoration of the existing heritage Franklin St Stores into a new retail village.

The precinct, to be named Gurrowa Place, is part of the largest urban renewal project to be undertaken by the City of Melbourne.

However, the petition, which has garnered 1465 signatures, argued that the renewal plan will “constrain and downgrade Vic Market’s traditional historic function as a low-cost public market”.

Friends of the Queen Victoria Market president Mary-Lou Howie said after 10 years trying to get the council to listen to the market community’s concerns regarding the rejection of their renewal plans, “this petition offers a show of hands to drive home the point”. 

“Enough is enough,” she said.


The council will seize one third of our national heritage market, that is, the car park and southern storage sheds, and hand it to a private developer.


“The market ‘renewal’/redevelopment was a legacy project of the former Lord Mayor Robert Doyle and also of the out-going Lord Mayor Sally Capp whose developer friends have eagerly piggy-backed on the plan,” she said.

“The reality is, no-one wants it, no-one can afford it, least of all the Council as we can see from the draft budget. It seems that Canberra will have the last say now.”

Lord Mayor Sally Capp said in April that Gurrowa Place “will become home to thousands of new residents, attract more market customers and boost business for traders – while unlocking one of the largest open spaces in the CBD” as well as creating 4000 jobs.

According to the council’s website, the market renewal will “create new open spaces, provide more places to sit and relax, and showcase the best local produce, specialty goods and local makers”.

“More restaurants, bars, cafés, events and activities will create a more vibrant destination day and night.”

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