BAILLIEU STALLS ON FUTURE OF THE EPPING WHOLESALE MARKET

Posted on 17. May, 2011 in News

The Baillieu Government has turned its back on job creation and investment in Melbourne by dithering and delaying on the future of the Epping Market, Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews said today.

Visiting the site today with Member for Thomastown Bronwyn Halfpenny, Mr Andrews said Mr Baillieu had turned his back on the relocation of the Wholesale Market to Epping.

“The new Epping Markets project is the single largest job creation project in Melbourne’s North, but after six months in Government Mr Baillieu still has no plan to secure the future viability and success of the project,” Mr Andrews said.

“Despite construction work continuing on the new market facility, the Coalition’s budget papers describe the Epping Markets project as “To Be Determined”.

“It’s clear the Baillieu Government is lacking in determination and their failure is damaging livelihoods in Melbourne’s North.

“The market is vital to Victoria’s fresh food economy, turning over more than $1.6 billion a year. Up to 600 jobs have been created through the construction of this project.

“Additionally, on a busy day up to 4000 wholesalers, growers and retailers use the current market supplying thousands of restaurants, supermarkets and local grocers throughout Melbourne and regional Victoria.

“The Market is a key source of employment for many families in the northern suburbs, but the Market has outgrown its current Footscray site.

“Mr Baillieu’s dithering and indecision has left the future of many traders in limbo, and highlights he has no plan to create jobs and attract investment in Melbourne’s North.”

Member for Thomastown Bronwyn Halfpenny said the project was vital for employment in the northern suburbs.

“The new market, supported by Labor, will establish a modern and efficient market in Epping for the next 50 years and beyond,” Ms Halfpenny said.

“This project, which will in so many ways help to put food on thousands of Victorian tables, is still off the table for the Baillieu Government.

“This vital infrastructure project, upon which the livelihoods of thousands of local people are pinned through direct employment and through the businesses it will support, is still in Mr Baillieu’s overflowing ‘too hard basket’.

“Mr Baillieu needs to stop making excuses and playing politics so this project can continue to create the jobs and investment that Labor recognised it would when we funded it.”

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