A-League bid remains on table

John Bennie and Rotary Club of Dandenong''s Phillip Thurgood. 194789_01 Picture: CAM LUCADOU-WELLS

By Cam Lucadou-Wells

Greater Dandenong chief executive John Bennie has told an event that Dandenong Stadium was still “on the agenda”, despite Team 11’s failed A-League bid last year.

At the Rotary Club of Greater Dandenong breakfast, Mr Bennie said more white-colour jobs and more people living in central Dandenong were also a key part of its economic revival,

He said an A-League team would still be fantastic for the region – an inspiration for the city’s youth and an economic driver.

It would also be the catalyst for stage 2 of Revitalising Central Dandenong.

“Imagine Dandenong on game day with 10-15,000 people in Cheltenham Road.

“The beauty of a stadium in this location is that when the economic wheel turns fast, that area south of the railway station is ripe for further development.”

Mr Bennie said Team 11 had been “outbid” financially; its bid had been “better in every respect but for the licence fund submitted”.

The consortium would be ready for the next licence round.

“The council and the company behind it is back on the horse very quickly.”

Mr Bennie spruiked the need for a South-East airport for the region’s projected 1.5 million population – a similar size as Adelaide or Perth.

Mr Bennie said the $290 million Revitalising Central Dandenong was still only 10 years into a 20-year-plan, but the council was “anxious” for development to “speed up”.

He pointed to several parcels of land yet to be sold and developed in the precinct.

However, the Metro Village 3175 residential estate was complete, but for two tall high-density buildings.

To come is the HCA Hemmings Street affordable-housing development, and the Spectra apartments in Thomas Street – the first permanent residential high-rise in the area.

Mr Bennie was optimistic that the Orion apartment high-rise on the former Pop-Up Park would proceed in the “foreseeable future” as well as the Hyatt Place hotel in Springvale and the Cumulus and Launch Housing projects.

They complement the award-winning designs of the civic offices, Drum Theatre, Chisholm Institute and The Castle, Mr Bennie said.

“Everything happening in Greater Dandenong in the past decade has been about making an architectural statement.

“We don’t want to be known as the place where architectural quality is poor.”

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