The following public question was asked at the last council meeting –

The Strategic Resource Plan indicates a planned allocation of $2.95m for Shepparson Avenue Market Development for design, concept plans and initial consultation and there is also planned budget allocations for the market/library area in the 2018-19 Draft Annual Budget. This there a budget and timing estimate for the actual market?

Council’s response was:

Council has prepared a Strategic Resource Plan (SRP) for the ten years 2018-19 to 2027-28 as part of its ongoing financial planning to assist in adopting a budget within a longer term strategic framework.

At this stage, funding for construction of the Market Development has been provisionally allocated from 2028-29 to 2030-31. This timing will be dependent on community feedback, funding models and Council priorities.

The SRP and capital works program is reviewed annually as part of the Council’s budget process and funding for capital works projects is reprioritised where required

It would appear that council is determined to proceed with spending $3 million on ‘design’ and ‘consultation’ – despite the fact that its commissioned Blair Warman Economics report (October 2017) had this to say about the Shepparson Market proposal –

Hardly a ringing endorsement for anything! If the only true option is a ‘speciality’ food market that relies on the more ‘high income households’ of Malvern, then god help us. The examples that this report provides include the Oasis Bakery in North Road and a site in Brisbane. Significantly, no mention is made of the Prahran market in the heart of Malvern where we would expect these ‘high income households’ to do their shopping! That leaves us to question the efficacy of both the report and to question why council is so determined to pursue this option worth $3m just for plans!