13 Fes­tive mar­ket

Sunday Herald Sun - - News - JOHN MASANAUSKAS CITY ED­I­TOR

MEL­BOURNE would get a Euro­pean-style Christ­mas Mar­ket along the Yarra River un­der a key tourism and eco­nomic pro­posal by the state Coali­tion.

Vic­to­rian crafts­peo­ple and artists would be en­cour­aged to sell their wares at the mar­ket, with the po­ten­tial for ma­jor ex­port spin-offs.

If a Matthew Guy gov­ern­ment is elected this month, the 24-day event will kick off at Bir­rarung Marr on De­cem­ber 1 next year with $500,000 fund­ing promised over four years.

The mar­ket would be run in con­junc­tion with the City of Mel­bourne and would com­ple­ment the coun­cil’s Christ­mas ac­tiv­i­ties.

Shadow Min­is­ter for Tourism and Ma­jor Events Heidi Vic­to­ria said the Mel­bourne event would be sim­i­lar to the highly pop­u­lar Christ­mas mar­kets in coun­tries like Ger­many, Aus­tria and the UK.

“We’re re­ally well known for our ma­jor events — things like the Aus­tralian Open, (NGV) Win­ter Mas­ter­pieces, Grand Prix and Mel­bourne Cup Car­ni­val,” she said.

“But this will be a month­long cel­e­bra­tion in Mel­bourne of all things Christ­mas. This will bring Mel­bourne out on the world stage.”

Ms Vic­to­ria said the idea would be for goods to be made lo­cally by stall­hold­ers, sim­i­lar to how the St Kilda Es­planade Sun­day mar­ket and Sun­day Arts Cen­tre mar­ket op­er­ate.

“Be­cause it will be a mak­ers-only, pre­dom­i­nantly Vic­to­rian of­fer­ing, it gives the op­por­tu­nity for Vic­to­rian mak­ers to get out there and sell their wares to the world,” she said.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp said Christ­mas was such a spe­cial time in the city. “I love ideas to make it even big­ger, bet­ter and more mag­i­cal,” she said.

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