Public comments are now welcome for the National Heritage nomination of Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Market, currently being assessed by the Australian Heritage Council.
Federal Minister for the Environment and Energy Josh Frydenberg said the market has played an important part in Australia’s history.
“As one the city’s major landmarks and the largest open air market in the Southern Hemisphere, the Queen Victoria Market has a long and important history,” Mr Frydenberg said.
“The Council is considering whether the Market has outstanding National Heritage value for what it tells us about how most Australians in cities accessed fresh food before the introduction of supermarkets and other technological changes.
“The assessment also considers the historical importance of the Old Melbourne Cemetery, which was located at the market site. It offers potential for study into matters such as the diet, lifestyle, wealth and burial customs of the early Melbourne community.”
Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said the Federal Environment Minister announcement about the next stage in the possible National Heritage Listing of Queen Victoria Market is a major milestone in the extraordinary history of the site.
“The threshold issue for National Heritage Listing is whether this place is of outstanding heritage value to the nation. I believe it surpasses that test because it is an irreplaceable link to the very foundation of our city,” the Lord Mayor said.
“It has evolved significantly over time: from its pre settlement past to the days of Robert Hoddle who in laying out in the city grid made this the site of our first cemetery. Within a short period of time, the city expanded, the cemetery closed and it became one of four major wholesale and retail markets owned and operated in the city, trading continuously since 1878.
“We are committed to preserving and protecting the site so it remains part of our city forever.
“That’s why we have commissioned a number of heritage assessments of the physical fabric, the old cemetery, historical studies of the social and economic importance of the market as well as ethnographic research into the sights, sounds, trader history and atmosphere of the market that Melburnians know and love.”
“Our ultimate aim remains the UNESCO World Heritage listing of Queen Victoria Market. That is what we are working towards as we commence the $250 million renewal of Queen Victoria Market, the largest renewal of any market in the world right now.”
The public comment period is an important opportunity for those with an interest in the site to have their say, including owners, traders and Aboriginal groups.
Listing recognises a place’s outstanding national heritage values that can include physical elements of a site as well as the stories, people or events connected to a place. Listing does not change land ownership or the management of a place, or restrict its normal day to day operations.
There are 108 places on the list, including Melbourne’s the Royal Exhibition Building, Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Rippon Lea House and Gardens and Flemington Racecourse.
Comments can be provided in writing to the Australian Heritage Council by 5:00pm, Friday 14 July 2017.
Information about the nomination and public consultation is available via www.environment.gov.au/topics/heritage/heritage-places