FRIDAY 25 November saw the opening of the Celebrate Diversity and Culture in Cranbourne photo exhibition and the announcement of the competition winne... Read More »
Springvale South now has an official cultural and worship precinct.
At their Monday 28 November meeting, Greater Dandenong councillors supported adopting a trial policy for the western side of Springvale Road, between Clarke Road and Hume Road.
It means the council will consider the area a preferred location for places of assembly or worship when assessing planning permit applications.
Officers recommended a 36-month trial and an assessment on whether the policy should be officially incorporated into the Greater Dandenong Planning Scheme.
Cr Sean O’Reilly said it was “great to see the idea that I had and council supported in October 2013 come along to this policy that we have in front of us today”.
“This precinct has been growing organically and sometimes in leaps and bounds,” he said.
“This formalises council’s acknowledgement that this area has a specific type of use.
“Is there anywhere else in the world where you will see Cambodian, Vietnamese and Chinese places of faith existing side by side, operating harmoniously in a multicultural community?”
The precinct is already home to several places of worship and assembly, and council officers said it could become home to several existing groups elsewhere in the city that have outgrown their premises.
“The precinct would be non-denominational and based on a cohesive collection of multi-faith religious and cultural beliefs of the diverse community of Springvale and its environs,” the report said.
It could also become a cultural destination like Little India and the Afghan Bazaar in Dandenong, although poor public transport would need to be addressed.
John Foy may be inconvenienced but the community gets a “clear net” benefit from acquiring the 78-year-old property owner’s land in Narre Warren North, Casey council argues.
“Mr Foy will see it as a disbenefit to him,” Casey’s lawyer John Rantino told a Planning Panels Victoria hearing on 1 December.
“We accept that … but ultimately that’s what the compensation provisions are there for.”
He said taking all of Mr Foy’s 34-acre property at 191-195 Belgrave-Hallam Road was “no more in size and location than is reasonably required” for the council’s purposes.
“This is not some premature, ill-considered application of a public acquisition overlay,” Mr Rantino said.
The public acquisition overlay was also backed by “strategic justification”, the hearing at Casey Civic Centre heard.
Casey’s plans for the site are three soccer fields with 190 parking spaces, a pavilion and ecologically-beneficial wetlands.
It also includes building the “missing link” in a trail between Frog Hollow Reserve and Lysterfield Lake.
The path would follow Eumemmerring Creek, which bisects the property.
Mr Rantino said that Casey was acting to alleviate the shortage of soccer fields in Casey’s north.
By the council’s formula, the region is 4.5 pitches short and most of its existing venues weren’t of District-level standard.
There was also the opportunity to expand and provide overflow parking for the next-door Narre Warren North Reserve.
“(It) is clearly the only land in the vicinity of (Narre Warren North) Reserve which is capable of accommodating a District-level soccer facility,” Mr Rantino said.
Casey’s supplied map of soccer venues show most of Casey’s northern soccer fields are in Doveton and Endeavour Hills, near to Narre Warren North.
The most populous areas of Berwick and Narre Warren are also the most sparse for soccer fields.
Planning Panels Victoria chairman Con Tsotsoros asked Mr Rantino if the council’s soccer fields policies and the compulsory acquisition was supported in Casey’s planning scheme.
During the hearing, Mr Rantino said objectors, including Mr Foy, supported Casey acquiring land for the trail link.
Mr Rantino said neighbours’ objections to increased traffic, noise, light and anti-social behaviour could be mitigated “as to be not unreasonable”.
Casey was backed by expert witnesses – traffic engineer Don Robertson and landscaping consultant Matthew Bolton.
Opposing Casey were the unrepresented John Foy and neighbour Marlene Kane, who were invited to make verbal submissions.
The hearing concluded on 1 December, with Mr Tsotsoros to deliver his decision at a later date.
– Cam Lucadou-Wells
EVERY day police respond to an average of four serious family violence incidents in Cardinia shire.
Disturbingly, just under half of these abuses are witnessed by or involve children.
It’s an indictment that many people are working hard to quash with children and their futures at the forefront of the push to end violence against women and children in the region.
A large number of campaigners turned out to the annual White Ribbon Day walk through Pakenham on Friday 25 November.
Hundreds of people holding anti-violence signs marched through the streets calling for the end of violence in homes across Cardinia shire.
The area has the second highest rate of reported family violence incidents in the southern metropolitan region, with an average of four serious incidents occurring per day.
Most victims are women.
This year’s walk was led by the Together We Can campaign, backed with the support of welfare agencies Connections, Anglicare, CatholicCare and Windermere.
In victims’ time of most need these agencies are there waiting to help – in addition to police who were dotted among the crowd at the White Ribbon Day event.
Pakenham police Senior Sergeant Graeme Stanley was impressed with the turn-out and encouraged more men to make violence against women in the community their business.
It was a particularly sentimental day for many people with the event creator Kerrie Thorpe from Connections, marking it as her last march.
Ms Thorpe’s contribution to family violence awareness in the community has helped influence significant change.
She started the first White Ribbon Walk in Pakenham six years ago with just six mums and their children. Hundreds now turn out to the event year-on-year.
Ms Thorpe can also be credited initiating the Cardinia Family Violence Network.
Those who took part in the campaign wrote anti-violence messages on tops and wore them throughout the day as part of The Clothesline Project. People were also seen weaving stars to make up the 10,000 star contribution that Cardinia shire expects to provide to the 2018 Commonwealth Games at the Gold Coast.
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, family or domestic violence, call 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call triple zero.