Pledged upgrade on the cards for St Mary’s

Father Declan O'Brien immediately after the fire.


Bruce will benefit from a Coalition Government, despite staying in Labor hands at the 2 July Federal Election.
Liberal candidate Helen Kroger lost the seat to Julian Hill, but said her party would make good on her pre-election pledges.
She said St Mary’s Catholic Church in Dandenong would still receive $500,000 for upgrades to community facilities, and $755,000 would go to splitter islands on Oakwood Avenue and Halton Road in Noble Park North.
Ms Kroger said her $100,000 commitment to a pilot mobile CCTV program in Greater Dandenong would also go ahead.
Vandals lit two fires inside St Mary’s in April last year, causing significant damage.
Father Declan O’Brien said the cash would “help kick-start again what community services we offer the City of Dandenong”.
“We run tutoring and English classes, free of charge, and run by a group of volunteers,” he said.
“Upgrade of the car park would be the main thing and also landscaping – having a place of beauty so people can, hopefully, come if they want to reflect, pray, just spend a few minutes away from the hustle and bustle.”
He said the church had also borrowed money from the Catholic Development Fund for the project.
“If the Coalition Government got back in again, as soon as they got back in we’d be on their heels,” he said before the election.
On the CCTV program, Safer Communities Fund cash would buy a relocatable camera system and install related infrastructure in locations that Victoria Police identified as having periodic issues with anti-social behaviour, drug-related offences and general crime.
On the list are Licola Crescent in Dandenong South; Hemmings Park, Fotheringham Reserve and Greaves Reserve in Dandenong; Mills Reserve and the Ian Street shopping strip in Noble Park; and Tirhatuan Park in Dandenong North.
Ms Kroger said Bruce residents would also benefit from multi-million dollar investment in the Monash Freeway.
She said that at least 19,000 small businesses in Bruce would benefit from lower taxes and greater tax concessions, more than 19,000 people in Bruce would benefit from a Low Income Superannuation Tax Offset, and a new personal income tax threshold would protect more than 2000 people in Bruce from entering the second top tax bracket.

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