Tag: Little India Dandenong

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.

Tree plantation drive in Little India, parking fee cut from July 1

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By Neeraj Nanda

MELBOURNE, 5 June: Little India, Foster Street will soon be greener with a Tree plantation drive scheduled to take place on Sunday 17th and 24th June and Sunday 1st and 8th July.

“15 new street trees will be planted between Thomas Street and the station. While the trees are small they will be protected and supported by a metal tree barrier. Existing street trees on the northern side of the street will be retained, but their bases at the footpath will be altered to eliminate tripping hazards and improve root access to rainwater,” says the June 2018 Bulletin of the Indian Cultural Precinct. The Bulletin has been emailed to the media today.

The Bulletin further says, “In Foster Street, there has long been a gradual loss of trees resulting in most of the trees missing from the south side of the street. Trees, greenery, and landscaping were prominent themes through the development of the Framework. Therefore, it was considered an important part of making the street feel family friendly, welcoming and comfortable.”

The Bulletin also informs, “A designer is currently being engaged by Council to consider the best way to apply the precinct branding & the expanded color palette to shop fronts & improve the overall visual impact of the precinct.”

Traders may be contacted by the designer in August to discuss how their shop can be part of the changes underway.

Meanwhile, following a recent review in the Indian Cultural Precinct, a new lower fee of $1 per hour (currently $1.80) will become effective on 1 July. This aims to make on-street parking more convenient for shoppers and visitors.

In addition, there has been a review of parking layouts in Foster and Mason Streets. Line marking will be adjusted shortly to create a number of extra on-street parking spaces, the Bulletin reports.

The changes in the area are part of the Indian Cultural Precinct Framework which has identified 140 initiatives categorized under the six Precinct Objectives.

Indian Precinct in Dandenong to take off with new injection of colour and vibrancy on the streets

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By Neeraj Nanda

MELBOURNE, 11 April: The Indian Cultural Precinct in Dandenong’s (Little India) Foster Street, is all set to move into a new format with the ‘Indian Cultural Precinct Framework’ being endorsed by the Task Force set up by the Victorian government to oversee the project.

To kick off the new Framework, through the first projects in Little India, visitors to the Little India Cultural Precinct will soon notice a big injection of color and vibrancy on the streets at key locations. Street art emerged as a highly popular idea through the development of the Framework. It was widely considered as a positive way to add color, vibrancy, life & spice – matching the feelings and experiences you have inside the shops on the street.

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Three experienced artists Rowena Martinich, Geoffrey Carran and Mike Eleven will be creating new artworks in the precinct in April. They will bring to life the many narratives that underpin Little India and will add to the experience of being in the precinct. The contemporary artworks are expected to speak to old and new audiences alike creating great photo opportunities for sharing and promoting the precinct.

Two large sites near the parking behind the main shops and another on the corner of Mason Street and Foster Street will be transformed from drab to fab in April!

“The Framework captures community aspirations and will assist in guiding future development of the Indian offer in Dandenong. It includes a shared vision for Melbourne’s Premier Indian Precinct and identifies 140 initiatives categorized under the six Precinct Objectives: Presentation and Curation, Trade Experience, Marketing and Partnerships, Festivals and Events, Community Hub and Development,” says the Dandenong Activity Centre – Indian Cultural Precinct Bulletin (April 2018).

The Indian Cultural Precinct Taskforce met on six occasions in 2017 and will meet every two months throughout 2018. The Taskforce is chaired by Gabrielle Williams MP and consists of 10 community representatives and 5 government staff from the state and local council. The Taskforce will continue to oversee implementation of the Indian Cultural Precinct Framework and provide advice and strategic input on Melbourne’s first Indian Cultural Precinct, including monitoring the $500,000 grant expenditure which has now been made available, in part to Council, to commence priority works in the precinct.

Dandenong Council wants ‘short-term ideas’ to use Indian Precinct funding

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Source: Dandenong Council

Dandenong Council wants ‘short-term ideas’ to use Indian Precinct funding

By SAT News Desk

Melbourne, 24 June: How should the $ 500,000 allocated by the Victorian Government be spent on the proposed Indian Cultural Precinct in Dandenong? This question has been asked by the Greater Dandenong Council through its website.

The fund allocation was made by the Daniel Andrews government a few years ago after the Little India, Foster Street, Dandenong traders agitated against the Places Victoria’s plan to redevelop the area. The traders feared the loss of business opportunities and the loss of a focussed Indian/South Asian flavor ‘Little India’ which took many years of hard work to take shape.

“We now want your help to shape its future and position it in the hearts and minds of all Victorian’s,” says the Council website. Suggestions can be sent to the Council by 30 July, 2017 by visiting – https://oursay.org/greaterdandenong/dandenongs-indian-cultural-precinct.

This is the information posted on the Council website:

“We will be selecting the top ideas for further discussion with the Indian Cultural Precinct Taskforce from each of the following two conversations:

1.We are looking for big picture ideas about what sort of experience the precinct offers, how it looks, what events are held there and what attractions and facilities it should incorporate to make it a destination

2.We are also looking at more tangible short-term ideas using $500,000 funding promised by the Victorian Government. We want ideas that have high visual impact, are creative, inspirational and contribute in some way to the precincts long-term vision.”

Labor’s masterstroke: Victoria’s first Indian Precinct in Dandenong

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By Neeraj Nanda

Melbourne, 2 Dec 2015: The fast growing Indian community in Victoria will soon have its own first cultural precinct in Little India, Dandenong. A second precinct will also be established in Melbourne’s West, after a feasibility study, which will decide its location and form.

The announcement has come after Premier Daniel Andrews announced the setting up of an Indian precinct during the last years (2014) Diwali celebrations at Federation Square. This was followed by community consultations and a feasibility study.

The issue was a hot topic during the previous Coalition Government and Little India traders had launched a signature campaign followed by a rally outside the Victorian parliament. The spark being Places Victoria’s decision to redevelop the area and the fear of traders loosing their livelihood and rendering hundreds unemployed.

The Daniel Andrew government’s decision to have Indian precinct’s in the south-eastern and western (later) suburbs is being seen as a master stroke balancing act and a political bonanza for the ruling Labor Party. The issue first raised by Labor MP, Jude Pereira, in the Victorian Parliament, had seen heated exchanges with the Coalition calling it Labor mess.

Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Finance Robin Scott made the announcement at the Dandenong Civic Centre amidst clapping by leading community members, MPs and Council officials.

The 2015-16 Victorian budget included $ 500,000 to create Melbourne’s first Cultural Precinct.

Mr. Scott said, “ This Precinct will become a hub of activity – hosting festivals, a draw card for tourism, supporting small businesses and boosting the local community in Dandenong.

“We will also create a second Indian precinct in Wyndham to grow and celebrate the large and thriving Indian community in Melbourne’s West,” he said.

The Minister also expressed his desire to attend the opening of the Precinct in Dandenong and celebrate the occasion with the Indian community.

Dandenong Member of Parliament, Gabrielle Williams said, “ We listened to the community members and groups to determine the best location for this precinct, and it’s a huge win for the people of Dandenong.”

Both Precincts will recognize the important contribution the Indian and South Asian communities continue to make to Victoria every day,” she said.

Talking to SAT, Minister Scott said, “ I want the Indian community to enjoy their culture and activities at the new Precinct just like the Chinese, Italian and Greek communities do in their precinct’s.”

The ‘Feasibility Study On A Location For An Indian Cultural Precinct’ by Acil Allen Consultants & SGS Economics & Planning said about Greater Dandenong, “ …The municipality best met the assessment criteria, in particular demonstrating a strong reediness to commerce.”

“ In contrast, at present Wyndham does not yet have a critical mass of co-located Indian and South Asian themed businesses that could form the foundation and basis of a cultural precinct in the traditional mold,” the Study says.

The campaign for Little India which culminated into the announcement of Victoria’s first Indian Precinct was backed and supported by many community activists and leaders including Mr. Manoj Kumar, ALP activist and leader and former Federal ALP candidate for Menzies, Mr. Aakash Kumar and Mr. Alok Kumar among others. Many others from non South Eastern suburbs also worked actively in the campaign. Though, Little India traders who were the effected party played an importanf role in the struggle.

Victoria is the home to Australia’s largest Indian community, with more than 111,700 India-born Victorians.

- SAT News Service.