The redevelopment of the current meat and seafood building which was built in the 1980s will deliver dedicated loading docks, a 3-level basement with climate-controlled storage, waste management facilities for meat, fish and dairy produce halls, as well as trader amenities including toilets, showers, lunch room, meeting rooms, lockers, public toilets and parents room for the market’s 2000-strong workforce.
The Northern Shed, featuring a lightweight canopy structure, will facilitate an undercover loading dock for fruit and vegetable traders, as well as centralised waste and recycling facilities. The airy shelter of the Northern Shed will be able to provide shade for a multi-use space for traders or a public space for customers and visitors during non-loading hours.
The upgrades to the market’s inadequate and outdated facilities will improve security and compliance with occupational health and safety as well as food safety regulations. Economic analysis conducted in December 2019 by SGS Economics & Planning noted that maintaining the market as it is will impact the market’s safety and security, and will also threaten the long term financial viability of the market. Feedback from traders also indicated that upgraded facilities will improve safety for themselves, workers and customers.
“Independent research clearly shows the market needs significant investment in new infrastructure to meet modern standards. This was also a key recommendation from the 2019 People’s Panel, which included traders,” explained Lord Mayor Sally Capp.
Additionally, upgraded waste and recycling facilities across both buildings will enable the market to be more sustainable by reducing the amount of food waste being taken to landfill.
Lord Mayor Sally Capp said that the proposed facilities will allow the market’s 600-plus traders to run their small businesses more efficiently by reducing time spent setting up, packing down and transporting stock, while still preserving the unique traditions and theatre of the market.
“Both structures have been designed to complement the market’s wonderful heritage sheds and buildings.”
“Our top priority is to protect everything that is great about the market – for shoppers, traders and all Melburnians.”
The area of the market in Queen Street is also set to be transformed into a more welcoming space during busy market hours. The space makes it safer for pedestrians and improves the connection between the upper and lower market.
Subject to planning approvals, staged works are expected to commence in 2021 with facilities to be operational in 2024. Further work will also be undertaken with traders on detailed design and operations prior to that.
Cover Image: Two new facilities housing loading, storage, waste management and trader amenities have been proposed for Queen Victoria Market. (Image: City of Melbourne)