Market sets out its stall

Emily Ballantyne-Brodie and Neera Jain from the Dandenong Plaza. 140758 Picture: GARY SISSONS

By GEORGIA WESTGARTH

ICONIC as it is to locals, the Dandenong Market is not as well-known as some.
City of Greater Dandenong council officers were shocked to find 50 per cent of Australian Tax Office employees working in Dandenong had never been to the market.
After a survey conducted last year into office workers’ spending habits in Dandenong, the council noticed an opportunity to increase the dollars spent by workers in local businesses.
The council’s Economic Development co-ordinator Paula Brennan said the new initiative Work. Shop. Play. aimed to increase awareness of Dandenong businesses.
“The survey showed us there was an opportunity to engage the people that work here,” Ms Brennan said.
Voucher booklets and shopping carts are available for use and tours of the market are in train in a bid to lift office worker spending in the town centre over a 12 month period.
The initiate was launched with stalls from seven local businesses on Wednesday 24 June at the Walker Street Gallery.
Ms Brennan said the launch was an opportunity to showcase the gallery as well.
“We had workers coming and going during tea and lunch breaks from 11am to 2pm and representatives took voucher booklets back for the whole office,” she said.
Ms Brennan said PiqNiq Hut at the Dandenong Market noticed the vouchers being used straight away.
The council has committed to producing four voucher booklets which are available to everyone at the council offices and are currently manufacturing 20 shopping carts that will be distributed throughout office buildings in Dandenong.
“This is an opportunity for us to maximise the spend of people who are already coming into Dandenong and raise awareness of what’s already here because people don’t know what is available.
“We’ve got all these workers coming into Dandenong every day and with the new developments coming along we will have more workers coming into central Dandenong and we want to be able to facilitate their spending while they’re working here,” she said.
Mayor Sean O’Reilly said the Work. Shop. Play. initiative is a way of showcasing Dandenong.
“When we come to our workplace, we usually don’t take the time to notice what shops are right on our doorstep.
“This project highlights to us that we can shop and be entertained very close to where we work,” Cr O’Reilly said.
Hashtag #MyDandenong has people’s new finds and experiences and allows readers to share their own discovery.

Your first stop before buying a home. View the whole picture.