The Melbourne Market is moving to a new location in Epping with construction expected to finish in the coming months.
The market, which has been at its West Melbourne site since 1969, is crowded with over 7000 employees and 3000 businesses. The large number of businesses has prompted the state government to initiate the development, which is one of the largest infrastructure projects in Victoria.
The new site in Epping will be a 70-hectare site with 100,000 kilometres of space compared to the current location, with an extra 60-hectares available for future expansion. The benefits of the new location include safer pedestrian and loading zones and easier access to regions where the produce is grown.
However not all retailers are happy about the move.
“I think 90 per cent of people aren’t too happy about it because of expenses and the travelling. They can’t operate their businesses by the costs of running the business. We buy everything direct because it’s a waste of time,” Pat Vata, from Pat’s Fruit and Vege Supply, told the Newsroom.
Pat Foca from The Fresh Pear Fruit Supply is not excited about the relocation.
“I would have preferred to stay where it was but it just wasn’t going to happen,” he told the Newsroom. “A little travel time, that’s the major impact”.
Although the move has had its opposition among retailers, it has appealed to wholesalers such as Michael Zaati, who is a wholesaler and retail provider from Fruitilicious in Ascot Vale.
“It’s very nice and there is a lot more space,” he told the Newsroom. “Every year they keep saying they will open [the new location], and we don’t know what their problem is”.
The Melbourne Market Authority is managing the site and expected to be ready by 3 August. – Photo and report by Suzanne Masri