On 28 April 2014, the Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship – Hon. Matthew Guy, launched upgrades to the Afghan Bazaar precinct in Dandenong.
“The Victorian Coalition Government has been proud to support this project with a $400,000 grant under the Cultural Precincts and Community Infrastructure Fund, recognizing the importance of the Afghan Bazaar as one of Victoria’s emerging cultural precincts,” Mr Guy said.
The $1.1 million project was a partnership between the Coalition Government and The City of Greater Dandenong, which also contributed funding to enhance the precinct.
Mr Guy also acknowledged the vital input of local Afghan community leaders and traders, making the precinct in Thomas Street such an attractive and vibrant part of Dandenong.
“Dandenong’s Afghan Bazaar, which has evolved naturally over the last 15 years into a much-loved community hub, has been revitalized to create a true centrepoint for the area’s Afghan community, and a must-see destination for all Victorians,” Mr Guy said.
“Victoria is fortunate to be home to a vibrant and growing Afghan community, and this exciting project provides a place for Victorians to experience and learn about Afghan culture and a place for the community to proudly share its traditions and culture with the wider society.”
Works focused on making the area user-friendly to allow access to individual specialty shops. Improvements include new street and decorative lighting, expanded footpaths, new seating, plants and landscaping.
Afghanistan is the seventh most common place of birth in the City of Greater Dandenong, which is the most ethnically diverse area in Victoria with 60 per cent of its residents born overseas.
“The Afghan Bazaar is fitting tribute to the success of Victoria’s multiculturalism and to the Afghan migrants who have shaped and will continue to shape Dandenong, our state, and our nation,” Mr Guy said.
The Cultural Precincts and Community Infrastructure Fund is a $12 million investment by the Victorian Government over four years (2010-2014) to enhance cultural precincts and community facilities in Victoria, and secure the longevity of Victoria’s important community assets.
Well – The Afghan Bazaar is not very far from the Little India precinct in Dandenong. Lets see if the new Multicultural Minister would be able to do something similar to revitalize our only Indian precinct in Victoria.
Would also be interesting to see if the City of Greater Dandenong and the Victorian State government be able to work together for saving the only Indian precinct in Victoria.