Epping market still on track

Updated: 18/10/2008

Minister for Agriculture Joe HelperSource: Melbourne Market Authority – 17 October 2008

Notice to all Market Users:
It is appropriate that I keep you informed of the situation with the future of the Melbourne Markets at Epping following recent media reports.

The facts are:
   •     Government is committed to the relocation of the Market from Footscray Road
to Epping by 2011.

   •     Government reaffirms its intention to invest up to $300m to establish the new
Market at Epping.

   •     The aspirations of the market community, as expressed in the Memorandum of
Understanding between Victorian Fresh Markets and the Victorian Government,
to operate and own the market are consistent with Government policy.

   •     Government policy remains that the market users will have the opportunity to purchase the market by 2015.

   •     Media reports with respect to Mirvac’s ongoing involvement have no bearing on the Government’s
          ability to deliver the project.

Doubt over wholesale markets relocation

Source: Cameron Houston & Jewel Topsfield -THE AGE – 16 Oct 08

Melbourne Wholesale market - FootscrayThe $1 billion joint venture to move Melbourne’s Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable Market from Footscray to Epping is on the brink of collapse and may require a government bail-out.

A Department of Primary Industries spokesman said yesterday storeholders might now be asked to build their own storage space.

Developer MIRVAC has refused to sign a contract with Victoria Fresh Markets after agreeing in February to build a $300 million wholesale market in Melbourne’s outer north.

The State Government allocated $300 million in the 2005 budget for the relocation and redevelopment, with work expected to be completed by 2011.

A spokesman for Agriculture Minister Joe Helper said last night that the project would go ahead on schedule.

“The commitment in our future estimates of $300 million remain the same,” he said.

“The Government has no contract with Mirvac and Mirvac are only one part of the overall project.”

Treasurer John Lenders said the State Government would allocate part or all of the $1 billion required to complete the project, given the public-private partnership would no longer proceed.

Mr Lenders said the Government had allocated money in the budget for the move, had bought the Epping site and found a new use for the Footscray Road site.

“Let’s make it unequivocally clear – we have acquired land, allocated money and are keen to proceed with this project,” he said.

“This is a very complex project in the process of negotiation,” he said.

Traders have campaigned against the move from the Footscray Road site, but Government has refused to reconsider the move.

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