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Help Shape The Future of South Melbourne Market

Published 2 November 2023
We'd love to hear from our community and traders as we plan for a safe, accessible and enjoyable market experience for years to come.

This consultation closed on Sunday 3 December 2023. Thank you to everyone who provided feedback on this project. We are currently reviewing community and trader feedback and will share a summary of these findings on the South Melbourne Market website and the Port Phillip Have Your Say website in early 2024. Further community and trader engagement on this project will take place in late 2024.

About the project

South Melbourne Market was established in 1867 and is the oldest continuing market in Melbourne. Over time, the Market has undergone regular improvement and expansion to accommodate the growing needs of its traders and the local community, as well as to ensure it meets changing regulations. 

The Market continues to thrive in the local community, despite ageing infrastructure, growing competition and a limited footprint. As it moves into the future, planning and investment will ensure it continues to deliver a sustainable, safe and inclusive market experience for years to come.  

A range of capital improvement projects have been identified as being required to address building compliance at the Market. These projects are major infrastructure improvements including, but not limited to: 

  • an increase in amenities (i.e. more bathroom facilities) 
  • improved pedestrian gradients via aisle and footpath regrading works 
  • compliant access to the rooftop carpark with two new lift and stair combinations (York and Coventry Streets) 
  • a review of vehicle access to the rooftop carpark to address vehicle and pedestrian conflict. 

Council has approved additional funding in their 10-year budget commencing 2023-24, alongside these major compliance works, to achieve greater community experience improvements (Project Connect). This includes additional external public space for seating and pedestrian movement and additional back-of-house improvements beyond what is deemed compliance requirements to continue to support our traders in what are aged, and very constrained spaces.

Given the need to address these compliance requirements to ensure the Market is safe and accessible for all, we will also review and address major pinch points such as congestion and lack of public space to improve customer experience.

We are therefore wanting to find out from our community the importance they place on the issues we are trying to address, such as congestion, public space and safety. We also wish to find out if we were to improve and increase public space, what our community would like to see more of.

While we are making the asset physically compliant, addressing issues and investing in an uplift, we are also interested in making sure the Market is open and available at convenient times for our community.

While these improvements take place, the Market will be focused on protecting and retaining what makes it great – the authentic market experience, its rich history and cultural significance, the eclectic offer and our valued traders.

Have Your Say

We’re connecting with our local community and Market traders to hear your preferences around when the Market is open, how you use the Market, how the proposed changes will impact you, and how you think we can improve public space around the Market.

You can share your feedback by:

- 10am - 12pm, Wednesday 15 November at South Melbourne Central (Market Street entrance)
- 10am - 12pm, Wednesday 22 November at South Melbourne Market (corner of Cecil and Coventry Streets)
- 8am - 10am, Saturday 25 November at South Melbourne Market (corner of Cecil and Coventry Streets)


  • What changes will be made to the South Melbourne Market?

Some changes are required to address building compliance at the Market, to make sure the Market is safe and accessible for our community and traders. These changes include:

  • more toilet facilities
  • better footpaths and aisle surfaces
  • making the rooftop carpark more accessible
  • easing the flow of traffic for vehicles and pedestrians
  • a review of the public space on all three sides of the Market.

When making these changes we will look to improve public space and the connection to the local area, through improving seating and pedestrian movement outside the Market. We will also look to make improvements to the back-of-house area of the Market. These changes will be shaped by what we hear from our community and traders.

  • Why do the changes need to occur?

The South Melbourne Market’s ageing infrastructure and limited size means that changes are required to ensure the Market continues to deliver a safe and accessible market experience for years to come.

Some of the improvements are required to address building compliance, DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) compliance and safety and access requirements.

Other improvements will help our community to have a better experience of the Market, such as additional public space for seating and pedestrian movement outside the Market, and additional back-of-house improvements for our traders.

  • Will Market traders be able to provide their feedback?

Yes, all Market traders will be encouraged to provide feedback during the engagement period. They can do so by completing the online survey, attending a face-to-face trader engagement workshop, attending the public community pop-up activations and/or providing direct feedback to Market Management.

  • What will happen to the feedback I provide on this project?

The feedback we collect from the community and traders in this engagement will help to inform development of the draft concept plan for the South Melbourne Market.

  • Will I get to provide feedback on the draft concept design for the Market?

A draft concept design will be developed in 2024. This concept design will be informed by a range of information, including what we hear from our community and our traders through this engagement project in November and December 2023.

We will be asking our community and traders to provide their feedback on the draft concept design in late 2024.

Find out more

  • Click here to visit the City of Port Phillip Have Your Say website
  • Click here to sign up to the South Melbourne Market monthly e-newsletter. We'll be keeping our community up to date on project news through this newsletter and our website.

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