Michael Caton's character from iconic Australian film The Castle is no stranger to fighting unwanted development and now the actor is throwing his support behind a slice of Melbourne heritage.
The popular screen star is just one of many big names who are making noise in protest of redevelopment plans for the site of Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Market.
Caton, a Sydneysider who fought to save the Bondi Pavilion, is flying down especially for the event and will be joined by fellow actor Sigrid Thorton and Father Bob Maguire for a rally event on Saturday.
The Victorian government is planning a $250 million, five-year renewal project for the site, due to start in March, but the state’s heritage authority first needs to give a green light.
Friends of Queen Victoria Market spokeswoman Mary-Lou Howie said people are sick of losing heritage.
“Melburnians are angry – the tipping point was the demolition of the Corkman Irish pub.”
Thousands of signatures have been collected in opposition to the market makeover.
Under the proposal, the market’s original purpose will be undermined and structural, cultural and indigenous heritage compromised, the group said.
But the government believes the plan, which includes a 125-metre tower and will create 2500 construction jobs, strikes the right balance between rejuvenation and tradition.
As part of the all-star rally, impressionist Gerry Connolly, dressed as Queen Elizabeth II, is set to make a grand entrance aboard a 1948 Jaguar to God Save the Queen, ahead of a performance by indigenous musician Dan Sultan.
The Queen Victoria Market has traded continuously since 1878 and attracts almost 10 million visitors a year.