CBD from the creek trail south of Meridian. April 6, 2015.

Regarding Dandenong

News Round Up

Spectra Apartments - Facebook
facebook.com (10 Feb 2017)

Spectra Apartment construction set to start mid-2017. After a bumpy start, we are as determined as ever to bringing Dandenong’s Spectra Apartment development out of the ground. Read on facebook.com →
RD: A surprisingly frank post on Spectra's Facebook page about the current status of the project. (At least, for the first several paragraphs, after which it switches back into marketing mode.) Things still sound positive, but that council is now assessing plan changes may be a source of concern.

And, yes, it has been a while since I last posted an update. I plan to start posting again in the future — perhaps around mid-year. With any luck, my first return post will be about Spectra breaking ground. Read more...

Training centre may rise from razed park soundshell
dandenong.starcommunity.com.au (17 Aug 2016)

An indoor training centre is on the cards for the new-look Dandenong Park. Read on dandenong.starcommunity.com.au →
RD: I'm not sure I see the point of removing a group of historic buildings to create open space — to then fill it in with another building (and presumably associated car parking and other inactive spaces, like building backsides). Read more...

Masonic hall change into arts centre is set in stone | Dandenong Journal
dandenong.starcommunity.com.au (15 Aug 2016)

Dandenong’s former masonic hall will become a regional arts centre. Read on dandenong.starcommunity.com.au →
RD: The council has purchased the Masonic hall and will be turning it into a gallery. I'm not sure if they'll be selling the current Walker Street gallery as well. At one point, there was discussion of hosting an Indian art collection here. Read more...

Council Agenda 25 July 2016
greaterdandenong.com (27 Jul 2016)

Read on greaterdandenong.com →
RD: A couple of interesting morsels from the Council's meeting. Spectra received an approval for a permit amendment to take it to 20 levels (well, the note says 21 plus basement, but I imagine it's just 20).

There is (was?) apparently a proposal for 38 Cheltenham Road (almost directly across from the station) for a 9 storey set of 108 apartments. They also have had a Facebook page since 2013, though they aren't particularly clear about the location there. It seems to have recently received a permit, so we can perhaps expect either some marketing now, or possibly the site going up for sale again.

Finally, Logis Park (plan pictured, and sourced from here) is the name of the artificial mound that you may have seen and been puzzled about at the corner of Eastlink and Greens Road. (I know I was puzzled.) Apparently, it's a sealed off mound containing all the waste from the former water treatment site and the plateau on top will now be home to a somewhat unconventional park. The height, and relatively level nature of its surrounds should mean it has some nice views. Read more...

Dandenong Park buildings demolished to make way for revitalisation
heraldsun.com.au (27 Jul 2016)

The sound shell, lawn bowls club, croquet club and kindergarten at Dandenong Park have been reduced to a pile of bricks. Read on heraldsun.com.au →
RD: They're still working on the design, which we should see sometime in November. I'm wondering if it will include the bridge to Riverside park (i.e. where the new playground is). Read more...

Council ponders Oasis pool move
dandenong.starcommunity.com.au (15 Jul 2016)

Dandenong’s Oasis pool could make a $50 million move to Dandenong Market, under a confidential council plan. Read on dandenong.starcommunity.com.au →
RD: Interesting idea, but it sounds like that's all it is at the moment. I'm not sure the council has the capacity to take on a project of this scale for another 5-10 years or so. Read more...

Spectra Apartments
facebook.com (28 Jun 2016)

We are all very excited today as we launch the new "look and feel" Spectra Apartments brochure. Read on facebook.com →
RD: A brochure from the Spectra team. Not too much new information, but a few more renders of interiors, and a nice wrap-up of the project. It feels as though this has been the best marketed project so far. Read more...

Traffic lights get the green light for danger junction
dandenong.starcommunity.com.au (18 Jun 2016)

Cash is now the only thing holding back life-saving traffic lights at Robinson Street and Princes Highway in Dandenong. Read on dandenong.starcommunity.com.au →
RD: (Proper) traffic lights are needed here and they're also needed at the intersection of Thomas and Scott Streets. Something is also needed at Webster Street, for people doing U-turns on Lonsdale Street. And they've all been needed for around 5 years or so. Spectating the development of city infrastructure, even smaller things, is not a sport for the impatient. Read more...

For Sale: 155 Princes Hwy
realestate.com.au (18 Jun 2016)

APPROVED PLANS AND PERMITS FOR: 16 Two spacious apartments with balconies; 19 Parking spots; Retail space CAFE 58M2 plus 23M2 el fresco area Read on realestate.com.au →
RD: This is a little bit further out of the centre, near the Pancake Parlour. The permit was granted a while ago from memory, so may be close to lapsing. Due to the council's more aggressive stance against developments outside the centre recently, any buyer may face the prospect of it not getting renewed. (Will anyone inform the potential buyer?) Read more...

Lot 10 Foster Street
orionig.com.au (15 Jun 2016)

Read on orionig.com.au →
RD: Not a lot to go on here, just an intriguing "Coming soon" over an image of the redevelopment zone area, with the current pop up park highlighted as "subject site". If a development is slated for this site, hopefully the pop up park moves somewhere that's still central. Not that a development there would be going ahead for a while yet. Read more...

Sold: 5-11 Abbott Street
linkedin.com (3 Jun 2016)

The Knight Frank Capital Markets team is delighted to announce the recent sale of 5 - 11 Abbott Street, Dandenong. Read on linkedin.com →
RD: This is one of the less-central sites within the redevelopment zone near the railway station. I believe it was slated for very low density development (i.e. two storey town houses). $628 per square meter seems a little bit cheap, but there aren't a lot of land sales in this area to compare it to. Read more...

Century-old facility faces bulldozer
dandenong.starcommunity.com.au (30 May 2016)

Dandenong’s Croquet Club will soon be flattened. Greater Dandenong councillors approved demolishing the vacant building in Dandenong Park at their 23 May council meeting. Read on dandenong.starcommunity.com.au →
RD: It will be sad to see all these buildings and structures go. In many ways, they do contribute positively to the character of the park. However, I do ultimately agree they need to go as they limit the park's potential as a significant piece of open space. Still sad, though. Read more...

Burbank Apartments, Dandenong Tender
estimateone.com (23 May 2016)

Burbank Apartments, Dandenong is a construction tender in listed within EstimateOne. Read on estimateone.com →
RD: Burbank has put out a tender for construction of apartments in Dandenong. Since Mosaic is complete, this must mean they are preparing to launch one (or both) of the new apartment buildings on either side of the townhouses that are now under construction.

Note that both of these buildings are intended to be 9 storeys. (I can't seem to find the source for that right now.) I would actually prefer if they were all of different heights — say one 7 and one 11 storeys, in addition to Mosaic at 9 storeys — as it creates a more visually diverse setting. I'm also hoping that they are visually very different to Mosaic. I'm of the opinion that homogeneous building designs can be produce very poor outcomes. The risk isn't too high in Metro Village (there is already variety along Cheltenham Road), but I would still prefer if diversity in design were an explicit aim. Read more...

House has mystery history ... and a short future
dandenong.starcommunity.com.au (16 May 2016)

A prominent Dandenong home that has stumped history buffs looks likely to be knocked down. Read on dandenong.starcommunity.com.au →
RD: I expect this will sell to someone who will want to develop something on the land. That's a real shame, because it's a very attractive property. Read more...

Manufacturing recovers in Australia’s southeast
theaustralian.com.au (15 May 2016)

When US billionaire Hamdi Ulukaya first came to Melbourne four years ago, the owner of America’s No 1 Greek yoghurt brand, Chobani, headed straight into the heart of the city’s manufacturing heartland. Read on theaustralian.com.au →
RD: A write up on manufacturing as it stands today in the south east, ahead of tomorrow's manufacturing expo in central Dandenong. (And by tomorrow, I actually mean Tuesday.) Read more...

Quest for success
dandenong.starcommunity.com.au (13 May 2016)

Quest Dandenong has unveiled a $1. 3 million refurbishment. Read on dandenong.starcommunity.com.au →
RD: I guess that answers the question of whether the Princes Hwy Quest will close after the opening of the Walker Street one. (i.e. It won't.) Read more...

Metropolitan Planning Authority focuses on southeast in bid to boost business and jobs
heraldsun.com.au (25 Apr 2016)

The State Government’s peak planning authority has joined forces with local councils to tackle the southeast’s alarming unemployment rate. Read on heraldsun.com.au →
RD: This sounds like the recent announcement about community consultation for the Monash cluster, but is in fact about the Dandenong South cluster, which MPA CEO Peter Seamer says thinks should be tied to central Dandenong. (I'm assuming he means for planning purposes.) Read more...

Consultation Begins For Melbourne’s Next Employment Cluster
premier.vic.gov.au (15 Apr 2016)

The Andrews Labor Government is backing jobs growth and new investment opportunities in Melbourne’s east through a new employment cluster in the Monash area. Read on premier.vic.gov.au →
RD: I've seen hints and allusions to this over the past few months, but I still don't know how extensive the proposal is. Read more...

Planning to build
dandenong.starcommunity.com.au (28 Mar 2016)

Dandenong and the south-east could become Australia’s manufacturing hub if a new $1. 2 billion vision becomes reality. Read on dandenong.starcommunity.com.au →
RD: I don't know if there's any concrete action to backup this vision, but there seems to have been a good show of support on the night from quite a few businesses, councils and politicians. Read more...

Doubled train order good news for public transport backlog
etc.org.au (18 Mar 2016)

The Eastern Transport Coalition has welcomed today’s announcement that the State Government has doubled the number of high capacity metro trains it has ordered and which are due to be rolled out on the Cranbourne Pakenham line from 2018. Read on etc.org.au →
RD: I have high hopes for the activity of the line once the separations are done. I suspect that four tracks will seem like a necessity sooner rather than later after the improvements, but we shall see. Read more...

Three-storey apartment plan rejected
dandenong.starcommunity.com.au (15 Mar 2016)

A proposed three-storey apartment building in one of Dandenong’s most history-laden residential streets has been knocked back by a planning tribunal. Read on dandenong.starcommunity.com.au →
RD: The article notes that VCAT rejected the 3 storey proposal for 3 MacPherson Street on the grounds of its "flawed design, which more reflected a concern for “yield” than good amenity. " This is precisely the grounds on which proposals should be rejected --- i.e. poor design and low amenity. (Note: While I can't actually verify that was the case here, I have no reason to suppose it wasn't.)

(Image is of 3 Macpherson Street at present from Street View.) Read more...

Spectra Apartments - Coming Up
facebook.com (15 Mar 2016)

Time flies when you are having fun. .. so it would seen we are having a tremendous amount of fun -:) The team at Barnes Capital developing Spectra Apartments are thoroughly entrenched now in ensuring that this project continues to move forward with the community soon to see a number of exciting changes to take place at Dandenong's 'soon to be' most prestigious address: 219 Thomas Street. Read on facebook.com →
RD: Quite an extensive post from the Spectra Apartments team. The key points are that demolition will begin in the next few months, and construction is scheduled for shortly after that. Things seem on track so far. Read more...

Sky rail's 'secret expansion': four-track future looms for Melbourne's south-east
theage.com.au (14 Mar 2016)

Parts of the planned $1. 6 billion sky rail between Caulfield and Dandenong could be demolished within 12 years of being built, and new linear parks and paths beneath the line built over, to allow a new structure with two extra rail tracks. Read on theage.com.au →
RD: Now, I think that people who are affected by infrastructure have the right to raise their concerns and be heard. No large change can be carried out without economic harm to individuals, and it's important that we hear about them so we can weigh the benefits against those harms and see if it's still worth proceeding with the project. In the case of SkyRail, the answer is still likely to be yes.

People who raise concerns about infrastructure changes are often called NIMBYs. This is most often a misnomer, because sometimes the infrastructure either doesn't directly affect the people raising the concerns (so it's not in their backyard) or because they'd be against it elsewhere as well (i.e. they'd still be against it if it was in somebody else's backyard, though perhaps not as vocally). The true NIMBY is someone who says "Good idea, but don't put it here."

What does that have to do with this article? Well, at some point The Age decided to take up the cause of people affected by infrastructure change. I'm quite OK with that. However, at some later point they twisted it into what I'm going to call NIMBY-sensationalism. That means they scour new infrastructure projects to create NIMBY concerns. (Like the drug company that creates the perception of a problem so they can sell more of their drug.) This article is in that vein. Read more...

Dingley Bypass
vic.gov.au (11 Mar 2016)

Motorists in Melbourne's South Eastern suburbs will benefit from the opening of the $156 million Dingley Bypass, five months ahead of schedule. Read on vic.gov.au →
RD: This will be very useful for Dandenong South's growth. One thing in the media release I find curious: "The Bypass accommodates the rapidly growing industrial and commercial areas in South East Melbourne, while motorists will have safer road conditions with less congestion and better traffic flow." Surely those two are mutually incompatible.

I don't understand why politicians and planners aren't honest about why they build roads, as I'm pretty sure people would get it. It has nothing to do with congestion or traffic flow. Instead, it's all about the economy. Increasing the capacity of roads means greater capacity for road activity, which is tightly connected to economic activity. That activity grows until — the road fills up and congestion goes back to the same levels everyone was already showing a willingness to tolerate.

There are many ways to reduce road congestion — one of those is to reduce the need for transport overall by encouraging people to live, work and play locally. Read more...

For Sale: 5 - 11 Abbott Street
realcommercial.com.au (9 Mar 2016)

Located 350m* from Dandenong Train station and 400m* from Dandenong CBD. Will suit townhouse/multi-unit residential, commercial plus more (STCA) Read on realcommercial.com.au →
RD: This is located near Stockman's Bridge (George Street). Abbott Street previously ran down to Railway Parade, but has been cut off by the bridge now. (And, in fact, doesn't meet up with George Street either (whether by car or on foot), which seems like a missed opportunity for a more fine-grained layout. Read more...

Theatre to beat its own drum
dandenong.starcommunity.com.au (2 Mar 2016)

The Drum Theatre will grow into a community and cultural hub if a new strategy goes according to plan. Read on dandenong.starcommunity.com.au →
RD: The question was asked as to whether the $700K per year subsidy of the Drum was warranted. That does seem quite high (do ticket sales not cover more of the costs?), but nonetheless, the Drum plays a critical role in giving the city a sense of identity.

The plans for the next 10 years sound promising. I think the city is underutilising most of its facilities. Rate caps are going to make fixing that very difficult. Read more...

Push to limit high-rise hell
dandenong.starcommunity.com.au (23 Feb 2016)

Dandenong streets earmarked for towering apartment blocks could get a double-storey cap if a council push is successful. Read on dandenong.starcommunity.com.au →
RD: It seems like this is a lost cause (the tragedy of the commons always prevails), but I'll argue it anyway.

Our primary concern should be with how we want the city to evolve, and how we allow it to grow and express itself. Areas shouldn't have static height limits. Heights should be kept within the range of existing buildings, in the absence of a major redevelopment plan (i.e. up to 3 storeys would be acceptable amongst 1-2 storey areas, up to 5 storeys amongst 3-4 storey areas). Obviously major activity areas (like a highway leading directly into the centre of a city) should be given much greater flexibility, and zoning made more in line with the city itself. Limiting properties that front on to the Princes Highway to 3 storeys is disappointingly short-sighted. A thriving city (and not a thriving suburb) needs to provide a variety of dwelling options, and this is harmfully limiting.

Ultimately, quality should be the key consideration. An appealingly designed apartment building should have greater flexibility than a more standard effort. Of course this is subjective, but one can bring a measure of objectivity to it by surveying people's opinions on the designs (which wouldn't add very much expense to the permitting process, given how long and expensive it already is).

Finally, the only reason the city is able to put these controls in place is because it really isn't a popular place for developments. Councillors are pretending they have a large say in how things should work, but it's actually the market that is expressing no interest. If the market picks up, expect all of this to be overturned very quickly. Read more...

The Lonsdale Apartments
facebook.com/The-Lonsdale-Apartments-952383388181892/ (21 Feb 2016)

112 luxury 1 & 2 bedroom apartments coming soon to Dandenong. Read on facebook.com/The-Lonsdale-Apartments-952383388181892/ →
RD: City Rise is dead. Long live The Lonsdale.

27 Scott Street must have been sold at some point, and the new owners appear to have been kicking marketing off in the last week or so, with a new Facebook page, website and branding going up on the site hoarding.

The new development keeps the same design as City Rise, but has added a few stories since the last time we saw it. I count 14 storeys in the image (with 3 of those carpark levels). The name is an improvement on previous iterations (City Rise and The Majestic), albeit a little confusing since it's not on Lonsdale Street. Anyway, I hope this refresh goes well. Read more...

For Sale: 120-122 Princes Hwy
realcommercial.com.au (19 Feb 2016)

On behalf of the Country Fire Authority (CFA) we have the pleasure to offer this strategic site at the gateway of the revitalised Dandenong CBD.

Fitout of 14-16 Mason Street
fdcbuilding.com.au (19 Feb 2016)

FDC (VIC) has been awarded the fitout of 14-16 Mason Street, Dandenong, Victoria. Read on fdcbuilding.com.au →
RD: I think this is just a general fitout, since there's still a huge "For Lease" sign on the building. Read more...

Rate cap squeeze on sky rail
dandenong.starcommunity.com.au (16 Feb 2016)

Cr O’Reilly, an ALP member, told an 8 February council meeting that he wondered how councils were expected to look after the “unleashed 11 MCGs of open space” while their revenue was “squeezed” by rate capping. Read on dandenong.starcommunity.com.au →
RD: Excellent point. This is actually just one of the many problems with rate-capping, but makes the point extremely well: the biggest problem with rate-capping is that it assumes that a council area does not change in any way. (Beyond population growth or decline.) It's by far and away the most populist and crippling policy one government can impose on another level of government. Read more...

For Sale: 27 Hornsby Street
realestate.com.au (15 Feb 2016)

Spread out over three levels in an intelligently designed Forte Premium Townhouse. Read on realestate.com.au →
RD: These are now under construction, and are directly behind what will be another 2 apartment buildings (of similar size to Mosaic) on Cheltenham Road. Read more...

Spectra Apartments - When will we start construction?
facebook.com/SpectraApartmentsDandenong (14 Feb 2016)

When will we start construction? This year, August, so with more than a 50% uptake, it's time to take action and make sure you've got the best view in town. Read on facebook.com/SpectraApartmentsDandenong →
RD: A very small post on the Spectra Facebook page suggests an August start. Let's hope that timeline works out. Read more...

MP down on sky rail plan
myinforms.com (9 Feb 2016)

“It’s not going to affect anything this side of Dandenong so it’s just another way of spending billions on the inner suburbs,” Tony Bunce wrote. Read on myinforms.com →
RD: I'm only posting this because it's the first (and probably last) time I've ever heard Dandenong referred to as an inner suburb. :) Read more...

'Dreadful’ reaction to sky rail
dandenong.starcommunity.com.au (8 Feb 2016)

Early community reaction to the State Government’s sky rail project that will remove the notorious three level crossings in Noble Park has been “dreadful”, says a Greater Dandenong councillor. Read on dandenong.starcommunity.com.au →
RD: Thankfully, there is confirmation that lines can be added in future if needed. This seems to be because space has been allocated, so it won't be too expensive to add. Read more...

$1.6 billion elevated rail project to replace level crossings on Dandenong line
theage.com.au (7 Feb 2016)

The sky train is part of the $1. 6 billion project to remove level crossings in Melbourne's south-east. Read on theage.com.au →
RD: The Victorian government has chosen a proposal that will do most (all? ) of the level crossings as rail over road. It's not particularly surprising that they went with this option, given that their leak to test public support back in January went much better than I thought. Still, a lot of grumpy people seem to have turned up now.

I'm undecided on the approach. All the renders look pretty, with lots of clean, light-filled parks sitting neatly under lovely clean concrete. My experience with proposal renders is that they normally fail to depict the outcome accurately (not always, but most of the time they do). The one thing we can guarantee with these renders is that the complete absence of tags is well beyond unrealistic. (Unless they plan on incorporating CCTV everywhere.) What's more, the concrete will wear poorly, there will be much less light than depicted in the renders (particularly since the renders appear to be making use of the bloom effect, which artificially increases the brightness of light in a 3D image) and the parks are unlikely to be so well-maintained.

It's also unclear where this puts the plans for quadruplication. From the renders, it looks like neither the stations nor the elevated platforms are capable of supporting four tracks without significant additional (expensive) work. What's more, the amount of overshadowing of whatever goes below would be even more severe if four tracks were ever to be built. The design doesn't seem particularly future proof.

Let's see how it goes. On the positive side, Noble Park will now get a new station (visible in the distance in the image), which was not going to be the case before. And the proposal is both quite cheap and quick to build, so we won't have to wait very long for the whole thing to be completed. Read more...

Australia’s first E-Waste Processing Refinery opens today
projectlink.com.au (23 Jan 2016)

PGM Refiners in South-East Melbourne has launched Australia’s first automated electronic waste processing system today. Read on projectlink.com.au →
RD: This is a positive addition to the manufacturing mix. Read more...

Spectra Apartments - we are open for business...
facebook.com/SpectraApartmentsDandenong (23 Jan 2016)

Today marks a special day. . our guests of honor - all the way from Malaysia have had the grand tour taking in the sights of City of Greater Dandenong. Read on facebook.com/SpectraApartmentsDandenong →
RD: The Spectra developers seem to be hard at work attracting investors. Read more...

Trenches and elevated rail - Melbourne examples
urban.melbourne (13 Jan 2016)

There's been a fair bit of level crossing removal spin in the mainstream media this week, with terms like 'skytrains' and the State opposition taking an apparent position on the 'best' method of grade separating level crossings. Read on urban.melbourne →
RD: An interesting look at the outcomes for various types of grade separation project (rail over road and rail under road). Read more...

Former Ice Works Demolition, Dandenong
flickr.com/photos/86792135@N04 (13 Jan 2016)

Former ice works on the corner of Cheltenham Road and Sinclair Avenue in Dandenong. Read on flickr.com/photos/86792135@N04 →
RD: I had noticed this being demolished, but neglected to post about it. The ice works has been there for as long as I can remember, and I wasn't expecting it go anywhere soon. Things change. Here's how it looked back in 2010.

I'm unable to find anything substantial on the council or state planning registers about the site (aside from a two lot subdivision), nor on Google. Read more...

Elevated rail could run through Melbourne's south-east in level crossing project
theage.com.au (11 Jan 2016)

The Dandenong rail corridor would be rebuilt on a viaduct for much of its length, with trains running above street level through Melbourne's south-east, under a proposal to upgrade the city's busiest railway line. Read on theage.com.au →
RD: We seem to be at the "test public support by leaking" stage of the bidding process.

It seems very unlikely to me that this would work well. I'd need to see an awful lot of detailed 3D designs before I'd be comfortable that it wasn't going to end up an ugly mess. Read more...

Melbourne’s population to grow to Australia’s biggest
heraldsun.com.au (5 Jan 2016)

Melbourne is set to become a city of mini cities as its population heads towards 8 million people by 2050, making it Australia’s biggest city. Read on heraldsun.com.au →
RD: There's only two real sentences in here about Dandenong, but the article overall is an interesting overview of how Melbourne may evolve in the next few decades, which provides context. Read more...

Armada buys Dandenong Plaza for $197m
afr.com (22 Dec 2015)

Armada Funds Management has purchased Dandenong Plaza in Victoria for $197 million from GPT Group. Read on afr.com →
RD: Presumably this means stasis for the Plaza for some time. Read more...

Springvale Junction safety approaches
vicroads.vic.gov.au (15 Dec 2015)

We’re currently exploring a number of approaches that could be used to reduce complexity, as well as improve safety and traffic flow through Springvale Junction. Read on vicroads.vic.gov.au →
RD: I don't envy VicRoads' task here. There are lots of options, and none of them emerges as particularly good (even if money wasn't a consideration). If I had to pick one, I think it would be the closure of right turns on Centre and Police Roads. Read more...

Forging into Chinese markets
dandenong.starcommunity.com.au (12 Dec 2015)

China is an increasingly attractive partner for Greater Dandenong businesses. Read on dandenong.starcommunity.com.au →
RD: It's good to hear they plan on yearly visits, which gives this the best chance these visits producing real benefits. Read more...

Crone is proud to announce the completion of ATO Dandenong!
crone.com.au (12 Dec 2015)

With a GFA of 12,600m², the project created 5 levels of new commercial space for the ATO. Read on crone.com.au →
RD: All done and looking great. Now, what use will be made of the old ATO building? Read more...

Outer suburban Berwick to get an urban development injection
urban.melbourne (10 Dec 2015)

City of Casey recently approved a multi-building development in Berwick which has paved the way for the municipality's first entry on the Urban Melbourne Project Database. Read on urban.melbourne →
RD: This is just off the main street of Berwick, and should complement the area well. I'm still a bit surprised, though, because this makes it pretty clear that taller developments could appear at any distance from the Melbourne CBD (or other major activity district). Read more...

Asylum seekers get to the art of the matter
dandenong.starcommunity.com.au (9 Dec 2015)

A new national art prize is encouraging refugees and asylum seekers to pursue their talents. Read on dandenong.starcommunity.com.au →
RD: A good move making it a national prize. Read more...

Automotive transition in motion
dandenong.starcommunity.com.au (7 Dec 2015)

AN $8. 4 million boost to skills, training and job search support in the south-east is part of a $46.5 million State Government auto industry transition package. Read on dandenong.starcommunity.com.au →
RD: This sounds helpful. According to this submission by the Greater Dandenong council to the federal government inquiry into the automative industry, the value-add of the automotive sector is about $300 million and 50% of automotive firms were looking at redundancies in the short to medium term due to the closure of car manufacturing. So it's very important to handle the transition well. Read more...

Labor’s masterstroke: Victoria’s first Indian Precinct in Dandenong
southasiatimes.com.au (6 Dec 2015)

The fast growing Indian community in Victoria will soon have its own first cultural precinct in Little India, Dandenong. Read on southasiatimes.com.au →
RD: There is an interesting couple of paragraphs near the end of the article, which quotes the feasibility study as saying that Dandenong best met the assessment criteria (and it sounds like it did so very clearly). So why did we end up with two winners? A game of politics, anyone? Read more...

Cash is too little
dandenong.starcommunity.com.au (4 Dec 2015)

Little India wins race but is still behind… Read on dandenong.starcommunity.com.au →
RD: The smell of political game-playing is strong with this one. Read more...

Streetscape Works at Pultney Triangle Dandenong
australiantenders.com (3 Dec 2015)

Read on australiantenders.com →
RD: The council has put out some kind of tender for more works at the Pultney Street intersection with Lonsdale Street. I have little idea what's involved, but it sounds like it may be another public space, according to this site: "Pultney Place / Triangle is a small urban space at the intersection of Lonsdale Street and Pultney Street, Dandenong. Pultney Triangle construction has been identified as a key project in Revitalising Central Dandenong urban Master Plan. As a result a design process was lead by Places Victoria..." (Don't click "more" on that page, because it will actually give you less.)

Some work was done in this area before — just to install Reverie, I think, the public art that can be seen in the image. Hopefully, this next stage of work is a bit more extensive.

(Image from Google Street View.)

First Indian Precinct Finds A Home With Second On The Way
premier.vic.gov.au (3 Dec 2015)

Dandenong will be home to Victoria’s first ever Indian Cultural Precinct, with the Andrews Labor Government further announcing a second Precinct in the works for Melbourne’s west. Read on premier.vic.gov.au →
RD: There will be two Indian precincts, one in Dandenong (which we should not forget already exists! ) and one in Wyndham. Each will get $500K (for now? for all time?), which I gather means the existence of two precincts has required a split in the total pool of $1M of funding.

This is neither good news nor bad news. On the positive side, Dandenong's organically evolved Little India won't be overshadowed by a government-driven initiative located elsewhere. On the other hand, it seems highly unlikely that any particularly extensive or useful changes will come out of this for the precinct, unless the funding amount increases substantially at some point. As things stand, much more is being spent on the Afghan precinct, and that unfolded without any hype and fanfare from the state government.

So, in the end, this announcement is no real announcement at all for Little India. In reality, it all depends on what actions the government actually takes to improve Little India. And if a large stream of government funding heads Wyndham's way in future, with no corresponding funding for Dandenong's precinct, we'll know that this was all just smoke and mirrors to avoid angering the Little India traders. But let's not be too cynical! Read more...

Four more level crossings earmarked for removal
theage.com.au (29 Nov 2015)

Four more level crossings, at Sydenham, Dandenong South, Lyndhurst and Williamstown North, have been flagged for removal as Premier Daniel Andrews marked his first year in office. Read on theage.com.au →
RD: The crossings in this area are Abbotts Road and Thompsons Road. I believe the latter was already planned (but perhaps not committed) as part of the Thompsons Road duplication. Read more...

Junction jam
dandenong.starcommunity.com.au (28 Nov 2015)

Notorious ‘spaghetti junction’ chaos set for safety shake-up… Read on dandenong.starcommunity.com.au →
RD: This is about the Princes Hwy, Springvale Rd junction of course. One of the ideas mentioned is a giant roundabout. While I'm sure it would involve lots of intelligent signalling and whatnot, this still sounds highly comical for such a huge intersection. Read more...

Wedge blow
dandenong.starcommunity.com.au (28 Nov 2015)

Planning Minister Richard Wynne has stated he has no “appetite” to support Greater Dandenong’s desire for more than 400 hectares in Keysborough and Bangholme to be removed from the green wedge. Read on dandenong.starcommunity.com.au →
RD: This is a really bad idea. There may be some short term benefit to doing this, but absolutely no long term benefit. I would much prefer to see all of this land turned into high environmental quality green wedge land. Read more...

Armada in pole position for centre
theaustralian.com.au (26 Nov 2015)

Property group Armada Funds Management, with the backing of a major Middle Eastern fund, is in the box seat to buy a sub-regional shopping centre in Dandenong, in outer Melbourne, from GPT Group for more than $200 million. Read on theaustralian.com.au →
RD: (Paywall alert! ) It looks to me as though Armada is focused mostly on asset management, and may not be very ambitious in terms of development, which would be disappointing. However, it's very hard to tell. Read more...

Keep suburb's heart intact plea
dandenong.starcommunity.com.au (23 Nov 2015)

Community input could stop Noble Park grade separations from destroying the suburb’s heart, according to City of Greater Dandenong. Read on dandenong.starcommunity.com.au →
RD: It would be a complete disaster if they chose rail over road for Heatherton Road, and I don't believe anyone even mildly familiar with the area would even consider the possibility. Read more...

Premier Andrews wants federal government to pay for half of Monash upgrade
theage.com.au (22 Nov 2015)

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has called on the Turnbull government to cough up half the cash for the $400 million Monash freeway upgrade that will see the road grow to 10 lanes. Read on theage.com.au →
RD: This looks to be only a couple of years away, and will happen at the same time as the level crossing removals. Read more...

Construction Going Strong At Quest Dandenong Central
theurbandeveloper.com (20 Nov 2015)

Quest Apartment Hotels has commenced construction on the $25m development of Quest Dandenong Central, part of Australia’s second largest renewal project – the $290m Revitalising Central Dandenong initiative. Read on theurbandeveloper.com →
RD: A progress update on Quest. No news or hints of anything new, but a reasonable recap. Read more...
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