We are taking a breath and raising a glass to celebrate the decision of Minister for Planning, Sonya Kilkenny to recognize and protect the heritage significance of Preston Market and keep it where it is. We are particularly pleased that she has recognized the aesthetic and technical significance of the design and fabric of the market as well as the cultural and social significance.
It has been a nine year battle by the community, so far, with VCAT, The Heritage Council, owner developers, councils and the state governments.
There has been a long list of people who have worked with DADA and whose actions have been integral in getting us to this point.
The community effort was born with the People for Preston Market, a small group of folk who first recognized the market was under threat. Thank you, Jim Buckle and Mark Tregonning for seeding the movement.
Save our Preston Market most importantly ran a Facebook page, fought the VCAT case, organized a successful protest at the market and worked especially hard in bringing some councilors on board. Thank you to Lori-Anne Sharpe, Russell Haywood, Marion Harper and Jessica Doyle for your work on behalf of the community. Thank you to everyone who participated in the protest, it was important. A special thank you to Dr Jane Stanley for her expertise and presentations at both VCAT and to Darebin Council.
There were a number of community members who represented DADA in the very time consuming Victorian Planning Authority consultation process. Many thanks, Chris Erlandsen, Stewart Midgley and Anne Laver.
Like-wise it was a community effort to argue the case for a state heritage listing at The Heritage Council of Victoria. Though we didn’t get the listing this effort was a significant step in the final recognition by the minister. A big thank you to all those who presented on behalf of the community including, Barry Pearce and David Rayson, the original architects, and Suriyan Nalliah.
The Save the Preston Market Action Group is the most recent iteration of the long community effort. Members of this group have made a significant effort to collect signatures on a petition to go to parliament, organize community picnics and to participate in the Standing Advisory Committee process. Special thanks to Laura Fazio, Chris Erlandsen, Con Lambros, Bonnie Gordon, Zheng Chin and George Kanjere.
Gatano Greco played a significant role in bringing Darebin Council on board and in running a successful campaign to make Preston a marginal state seat. Many thanks for your work.
Most recently, thank you to Nathan Lambert for your willingness to meet with us, listen to our ideas and concerns and for representing these to the Minister for Planning.
Many apologies if your effort has not been highlighted here. A big thank you for your help.
Special recognition and heartfelt thanks goes to DADA Vice President, Chris Erlandsen, who has tag teamed with me for nine years to ensure the community is heard and represented. Together we have read and said hundreds of thousands and written tens of thousands of words in the campaign. We have spent many late nights and early mornings speaking to the press, asking questions at council and arguing the importance of the market to anyone who would listen. Long may you prosper.
Cheers, Maria Poletti.