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BUILDING UNIONS TO DEBATE GREEN BAN ON QUEEN VICTORIA MARKET

Queen Victoria Market traders have met with representatives from Victorian building unions to discuss plans that threaten the Queen Victoria Market site.

Queen Victoria Market traders expressed significant concerns to the building unions about a lack of consultation in the planning process, the threat to heritage aspects of the building, and that small traders are being forced out.

“The Queen Victoria Market is a cultural icon of Melbourne. Not only has it survived for the last 140-odd years, but it is the last remaining market in the Central Business District.” Victorian Trades Hall Council Secretary Luke Hilakari said today.

The traders have requested that the building industry unions intervene after repeated attempts to engage with Queen Victoria Market Pty Ltd Board and Melbourne City Council have failed. Building industry unions will now seek further information from the Board and the Council before debating putting a green ban on the Queen Victoria Market site.

“The decision to undertake a Green Ban on a site is not one that is made lightly – but in this case, the building industry unions believe that the Queen Victoria Market is so important and that the City of Melbourne council’s response to traders concerns has been so poor that a Green Ban may be our only option” Mr Hilakari said.

Unions have long used green bans to protect some of Australia’s most culturally and architecturally significant heritage buildings from destruction by property developers.

“Some of Victoria’s most beautiful and significant buildings, including the Regent Theatre on Collins street, the Princess Theatre on Spring street, and the Melbourne City Baths are only here because Unions stood up for them” Mr Hilakari said.

“The Queen Victoria Market is unique in that it is an open-air market right in the heart of the CBD. It gives small traders a chance to start a business and it gives people living and working in the inner city the opportunity to buy affordable fresh produce.”

“Not only is it one of Melbourne’s most popular tourist attractions, but it is also the birthplace of the hot jam doughnut.”

Mr Hilakari indicated that building unions will raise the issue with Melbourne City Council.

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