Tag: Little India Foster Street

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.

Decorative power poles spice up Little India, Dandenong

MELBOURNE: Two local emerging artists, Sohail Yamin, and Yoge Biju, have brought Indian themed and culturally inspired street art to Little India’s Foster Street in the form of decorated power poles.

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Photo: Greater Dandenong site

Yamin’s work titled Peace and Love builds on inspiration, brightly colored motifs, symbols and slogans synonymous with truck art which is very popular in India.

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Photo: Greater Dandenong site

Biju’s street art concept is titled Thoonu which translates to mean Indian Pillar. Pillars are a key architectural element and design aesthetic of Indian monuments and structures.

The artwork is located outside Museum India and is designed to extend the experience of the museum on to the street.
Greater Dandenong Mayor Cr Youhorn Chea said the latest additions added another layer of Indian culture and identity to the precinct.

“The street art program began with three large scale murals on Mason Street,” he said.

“We have continued to add color and vibrancy to the precinct with artwork adorning shop fronts, blank walls, and verandas.”

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Artists Schali Yamin and Yoge Biju. Photo: Greater Dandenong site

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.

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.”