There’s a reason why the Sydney Fish Market is a disgrace – the shareholders in the privately owned market keep refusing to allow any attempt to bring it up to a modern standard. In the 1990s the market was sold and is now privately owned - half by the retailers on site and the other half by the fishermen.
Last June the retailers rejected a $40 million revamp proposal approved by the state government which would turn the market into a world-class tourist site, incorporating a park and waterfront promenade.
Back in 2010, Kristina Keneally promised to give $20 million towards the public part of the development but the tenants of the existing retail stalls voted against it on viability grounds. They argued that the redevelopment would not generate sufficient extra income to support the borrowings needed for the project.
You would be ashamed to bring your overseas visitors here. There is seagull-splattered poo on old plastic umbrellas along the waterfront, the car park is a nightmare, nowhere near big enough, but we still come, especially at Easter and Christmas, because they sell the best seafood in the world.
In June 2011, the market’s chief executive Grahame Turk said he was very disappointed the development could not go ahead and said “I’m ashamed of the place.”
So Sydney-siders are stuck with a smelly old facility in a prime waterfront location and if the retailers keep getting their way, it will remain this way for many years to come.