Page 831 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 6 April 2022

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tradition for Canberra locals and visitors alike. I was able to pop into the markets while the stallholders were setting up on that Sunday, but there was already a huge crowd, I can happily report, and the building was abuzz with activity.

DR PATERSON: Minister, what changes can shoppers expect from the reopened markets?

MS CHEYNE: I thank Dr Paterson for the supplementary. The ACT government has invested a $5.9 million package of building refurbishments to improve the safety, accessibility and sustainability of the former transport depot, which has now been completed. That includes the provision of a new roof, electrical system, a toilet facility and accessibility upgrades. One of the valuable upgrades is the construction of a new accessible path linking the fitters workshop to the former transport depot lower hall toilet entry, which enables hirers of the fitters workshop to use the depot toilets rather than hiring portable facilities. The depot building access system can be programmed to enable external access to the toilets without allowing access to the rest of the depot building. This is, of course, a great addition for the community events being held in the area.

The reopening of the markets on Sunday, 20 March saw the return of many familiar stallholders but also included some new faces among the fresh produce, the diverse cuisines, and the arts and crafts on offer. The event organisers also flagged new trading hours of 9.30 am to 2.30 pm in response to stallholder and community feedback.

MS ORR: Minister, what has been the community response to the highly anticipated return of the Old Bus Depot Markets?

MS CHEYNE: I thank Ms Orr for the supplementary. As I mentioned, the market operator reported close to 4,000 people at the site on Sunday, 20 March, which represents one of the largest attendances ever recorded at the event. The second weekend’s trading was similarly strong and well-attended. The market stallholders, I am told, are very pleased to be trading once again. The site manager for the event, Richard Vagi, reported that he received very positive feedback about the refurbished building, including praise for the new, easy to use suspended power supply points for stallholders, as well as having the newly painted facade which provides an attractive entrance to the building.

The most positive feedback that has been received was about the refurbished toilets in the lower and upper halls—stallholders and visitors have commented what a difference the improvements have made—including changes to make the facilities fully accessible and providing a change table, which is a much-need convenience for parents visiting the markets.

The lead dust remediation work is now almost complete. There are just minor works associated with the management of lead paint scheduled for completion by November. The stallholder reimbursement process is substantially complete and, when finalised, will complete this $2.2 million package of works. The stallholders have been positive and very cooperative during this reimbursement process, which was established to

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