SYDNEY, April 21 (Xinhua) -- A campaign has been launched to protect Melbourne's iconic Queen Victoria Market by having it placed on Australia's National Heritage List.
Federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg and Robert Doyle, Melbourne's Lord Mayor, on Friday formally asked the National Heritage Council to place the market on the register of the country's most important heritage sites.
If the bid is successful, the historical elements of the market would be protected in any future developments of the site.
The Queen Victoria Market was named the number one international tourists destination in Melbourne by Tourism Victoria in 2016.
It also remains of significant importance to local Melburnians with thousands of locals attending the market every day to do their shopping.
The site was also Melbourne's first cemetery with as many as 10,000 people being buried there between 1837 and 1917.
Frydenberg said it had been an important part of Australian history.
"As one of the city's major landmarks and the largest open-air market in the southern hemisphere, the Queen Victoria Market has a long and important history," Frydenberg told News Limited on Friday.
"The assessment also considers the historical importance of the Old Melbourne Cemetery, which was located at the market site. It offers potential for study into matters such as the diet, lifestyle, wealth and burial customs of the early Melbourne community."
A small section of the site was approved for market use in 1859 with operation beginning in 1878. It is now home to more than 700 traders.
Owners, traders and Aboriginal groups will also make presentations to the council regarding the market's status.
If approved, the market would become the 109th item on the National Heritage List with other Melbourne landmarks to have already made it including the Royal Exhibition Building and Flemington Racecourse.
Doyle said formally protecting the market would recognize its important to the city.
"The beauty of this market is it is woven into the everyday fabric of Melbourne life and has been since 1878," he said.