Tag: Little India Cultural Precinct

Little India to shut in 2 years ; New development to start in 2023 at five sites

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By Neeraj Nanda

MELBOURNE, 1 December 2020: In a move that is likely to render more than 25 businesses inoperative and about 60 staff without work, the Victorian government has written to Little India stakeholders to get ready for shutting shop in the next two years as a developer has been selected to redevelop the area’s five sites.

A couple of weeks back shopkeepers received a letter stating the information about the possible demise of their businesses. Some years back when Ted Ballieu was the Premier the issue of Little India was himself raised by the current Premier Daniel Andrews visiting the only Indian Pricient in Victoria to express solidarity with traders. Later a rally was held by traders outside the Victorian Parliament to save the shopping complex.

The complex this year already reeling under a massive downturn because of the COVID-19 pandemic, could not recover during the recent festival season as sales did not pick up. The news of its imminent demise is nothing but a shocker, traders say.

The shopping complex has many iconic shops selling ethnic Indian/South Asian outfits, food, and sweets. It also houses the headquarters of the Federation of Indian Associations of Victoria (FIAV) and the Indian Museum apart from a new art gallery coming up at Mason Street soon.

According to the Revitalising Central Dandenong (RCD) Foster Street Redevelopment Fact sheet the successful developer and the precinct concept design will be announced in the coming months.

“Development Victoria acknowledges the social and cultural significance of the Little India precinct in central Dandenong and its contribution to the local economy. A prosperous, vibrant, and sustainable Little India precinct is an integral part of the Revitalising Central Dandenong vision. The proposed redevelopment aims to deliver enhanced retail and cultural offering within a contemporary, mixed-use development”, it says.

READ FULL INFO ABOUT RCD HERE

Talking to SAT, Vasan Srinivasan, former FIAV President and currently Chairman of the Mental Health Foundation of Australia says, ” I am disappointed at the move and the keys of the FIAV office and the Indian Museum have already been handed over to the authorities.”

No statement from the Little India traders has yet been received. But Mr. Manoj Kumar, ALP E-mailed us his view saying, “Little India precinct is an integral part of the city of Greater Dandenong offering a one-stop center for vibrant subcontinental cultures, ethnic fashion products, clothing, foods, and museum. We have been fighting since 2010 to retain this precinct and will continue to stand with Little India traders in this hour of need.”

The report will be updated as and when necessary with new facts and statements.

Traders fear business losses as Vic govt. announces to incorporate Little India in the New Central Dandenong development starting 2023

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By Neeraj Nanda

MELBOURNE, 6 July: The land, next to the Dandenong Railway Station, including the Little India (Indian prescient) on Foster Street is likely to be part of a Victoria Government plan announced on 4 July, to redevelop as the ‘New Central Dandenong’ with construction starting 2023.

“Redevelopment of the 1.9-hectare site, bordered by Halpin Way, Cheltenham Road and Dandenong Railway Station, is expected to attract up to $100 million private sector investment in central Dandenong,” says a media release from the office of The Hon. Gavin Jennibgs MLC, Minister for Priority Precincts.

Minister Gavin Jennings says, “From the centre of Dandenong, the benefits of renewal will resonate throughout this vibrant and fast-developing community and we’re proud to be leading such an important initiative.”

Talking to SAT, Foster Street Traders Association (Little India Prescient) President Mr. Shahid Syed says, ‘this decision will hurt business and to discuss the issue the traders are holding a meeting on 9 July to give their response.”

The media release further says, “Subject to a developer being appointed in 2020, construction would start in 2023. The Revitalising Central Dandenong project represents a $290 million investment by the Victorian Government which has enabled close to $700 million in private investment, creating and supporting jobs across the wider Dandenong region.”

Member for Dandenong Gabrielle Williams says, “The Revitalising Central Dandenong project is transforming Dandenong, enabling the city to continue to grow and
meet the needs of the community.”
“We will work with local businesses and the community every step of the way as we deliver the next phase of this exciting project.”

The Little India prescient issue in Dandenong has been a hot potato with Little India traders opposing redevelopment plans many years back when the state was ruled by the Coalition led by Premier Ted Baillieu and the now Premier Hon. Daniel Andrews being the opposition leader.

An agitation by Little India traders supported by the Indian/South Asian communities to save Little India culminated into a rally in front of the Victorian Parliament. Subsequently, Hon. Daniel Andrews became the Premier and pledged to help Little India and its traders with many announcements.

It now remains to be seen what stand the Little India traders take and how the Andrews Labour government responds to it.

Mural’s add spice to Little India, Dandenong (See Video)

Source: Greater Dandenong website

By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE: Geoffrey Carran, contemporary artist and Rowena Martinich, abstract expressionist painter take us through their journey (see video above) of visiting local Indian traders and their shops to sample the beautiful textiles on offer and gain inspiration for their mural ‘Adornment’, created as part of the Indian Cultural Precinct street art program.

In 2017, the Hon Robin Scott Minister for Multicultural Affairs announced that Dandenong is the home to Victoria’s first ever Indian Cultural Precinct with a funding commitment of $500,000.

The funding is being administered by the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship under its Community Infrastructure and Cultural Precincts Program.

In 2016 an Indian Cultural Precinct Taskforce was established to inform the precinct’s direction and prepare a community vision.

The task force includes representatives from the Department of Premier and Cabinet (Office of Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship), Places Victoria, City of Greater Dandenong and ten community leaders with culturally specific perspectives on business, faith, community, festivals and youth interests.

Since the 1990s Dandenong has been home to Melbourne’s Indian community, with an active and authentic Little India Cultural Precinct, and other Indian businesses in the activity centre.

Since the Revitalising Central Dandenong project started in 2006 the face of central Dandenong has changed enormously, with vastly improved public spaces, numerous new office buildings, Harmony Square, and library. These developments have attracted increasing numbers of workers, students, and visitors into the area. Dandenong’s Little India Cultural Precinct is located in the midst of all this, and directly next to Dandenong Railway Station where 2.6 million commuters per annum are exposed to Indian culture and commerce each day as they walk to and from the station.

The Little Indian Cultural Precinct, centered on Forster Street, Dandenong, is Melbourne’s longest standing and the most authentic cluster of Indian and subcontinental culture and commerce.

The city of Greater Dandenong is home to a large number of Indian businesses, with 62 shops in central Dandenong, including 33 businesses clustered in the Little India Cultural Precinct itself. These specialists shops include eateries, groceries, general retail and most famously, fashion and traditional wear.

More than 12,400 Indian born residents currently live in the City of Greater Dandenong. The regional population of Indian born residents in Melbourne’ south-east reached 52,000 in 2016.

PHOTO used below heading in site: http://www.mikeeleven.com/indian-cultural-precinct/