PROTECT PRESTON MARKET
Our beloved Preston Market is a wonderful hub of cultural diversity, affordable fresh food and community in Melbourne’s North. Right now the owners of the site, property developer Salta Properties, want to redevelop the site with apartment towers, putting the future of the market on uncertain ground.
The Greens have joined the Council and local community in campaigning strongly for protection of the market. I’ve questioned the minister in state parliament, put the pressure on through the media, written letters to the Minister and local Labor MPs, and I’ve been encouraging our community to have their say in the consultation processes to ensure the market is protected.
In recent months the State Government Victorian Planning Authority (VPA) has been reviewing the designs proposed by developer Salta Properties, and they have now released the re-drafted designs. These offer some improvements by reducing the height of buildings, the number of apartments and adding some crucial open space to the design. However, questions still remain about how the market we love and its traders will be protected through the redevelopment, and they have failed to include any measures to enhance the sustainability or livability of the precinct so far.
In the coming months I will be appearing at the VPA consultation hearings to push for:
- Legal protections (a section 173 agreement on the title of the land) that would cover protection of the market, providing security for existing and diverse traders to continue to provide affordable fresh food in an open air market. It should also protect the heritage values of the site as identified in Council’s reports.
- A minimum 18% green space in line with the green space needs identified by Council for the area.
- Liveable, medium-scale housing for the site, with a 30% affordable housing target for low income families.
- Revisions to make it a nation leading carbon neutral precinct, with a microgrid running on renewable energy generated on-site through solar panels and including battery storage.
- Ensuring greens bins and glass bins are provided for households and customers, together with commercial food composting and recycling, and urban agriculture for the market.
As Victoria grows we need a planning system that puts the interests of people first. For too long, big property developers have had too much influence and have been allowed to shape Victoria’s neighbourhoods - often for the worse. The threat to Preston Market is yet another example of this.
The Greens are fighting to transform planning to create thriving neighbourhoods, to help deliver more public, affordable and sustainable homes, and put people back at the centre of decision making.
PROTECT PRESTON MARKET
Protect Preston Market as a diverse, affordable, open-air market.