13 Festive market
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.