Looking Back

Lonsdale Street traders Ghajan Ghaneshan and Ashton Ashokkumar in front of the deserted parking bays on a mid-Tuesday morning in 2018. 188336_01 Picture: CAM LUCADOU-WELLS

100 years ago

6 December 1923

Damage by Picnic Party

The visit of the Port Melbourne schools to Dandenong, last week, for their annual picnic, was an unpleasant one for a number of townspeople, and it is to be hoped that those in authority will now see the wisdom of refusing the use of the Park or Show Grounds for these class of picnics. Considerable damage was done to flower gardens and instances of petty thieving have been reported. At Mr Elmore’s residence these vandals stripped a fine row of young gum trees of their branches and leaves, and put them back for years, flower gardens were raided in various parts of the town and valuable rose bushes were pulled up by the roots, and flower beds damaged. The language of some of the youths from the “Port” was also unwelcome additions to that of a similar character, unfortunately heard by local youths. As Port Melbourne picknickers also caused trouble last year, this year’s conduct should be sufficient to debar them the use of any picnic grounds at Dandenong in future.

50 years ago

4 December 1973

CRS ‘Tempted with Cash’

An allegation has been made that businessmen have attempted to “bribe” Berwick City Councillors “with allusions of social and financial gain” over the development of Berwick’s commercial area. The claim was made in a letter from ex-councillor Graeme Sweeney, who said councillors had been asked to develop the commercial area “in the interests of Berwick, Chamber of Commerce”. Mr Sweeney’s letter said “Cold hard calculating businessmen have made contact with most, if not all councillors and alluded to social and financial advantages. With some, promises have been given to support them in future re-elections to council and reverence had been made to giving them positions as president and chairman of local organisations.”

20 years ago

1 December 2003

High Life

The commitment to transform Dandenong into a major transit city is being followed by developer’s plans for high rise apartments in the CBD. Any day now Planning Minister Mary Delahuntly is expected to approve the $240m residential redevelopment of the Old Dandenong saleyards site. This is the foundation of the State Government’s transit city plan, which aims to encourage people to live close to key public transport hubs. Greater Dandenong Council’s town planning manager Andrew McColloch said he believed the transit city endorsement was luring other large-scale residential developers to Dandenong.

5 years ago

3 December 2018

“Ghost Town”

A councillor is calling for Dandenong’s parking meter regime to be relaxed with parts of the revitalised precinct resembling a ghost town. Traders in parts of Lonsdale Street are reporting a mass exodus of businesses, vacant shops and long stretches of empty parking bays. In the past year business have deserted Lonsdale Street. Cr Jim Memeti said he is going to move for parking changes to help resuscitate quiet areas of central Dandenong. “A lot of people have been telling me ‘why is Noble Park and Springvale free and in Dandenong they have to pay’.”

Compiled by Dandenong & District Historical Society