By Cam Lucadou-Wells
Greater Dandenong Council is set to hire a consultant to help “progress” the long-awaited Dandenong Community Hub project.
Community services director Martin Fidler told a council meeting’s public question time on 22 March that the consultant would be recruited in April.
Mr Fidler also announced a dedicated webpage with updates on the hub project.
The website stated that building would start in 2023-’24.
Design and community consultation would begin in 2022-’23.
Dandenong Community Association spokesperson Silvia Mastrogiovanni said the council seemed to be “wasting time on consulting on a business case”.
“This was work that was done last year.”
She was concerned that residents were being “locked out of consultation on concept designs” despite a council resolution for concept design consultation in 2020-’21.
Ms Mastrogiovanni said the process should follow the consultation for Keysborough South Community Hub for a “high level concept design” and a survey of preferred locations.
She said the hub should also not be a collection of community services but have an informal gathering space.
“Dandenong needs a “Neighbourhood Hub” not a “Community Services Hub”
The Autumn Place Community Hub in Doveton was an ideal prototype, though too small for Dandenong’s needs, Ms Mastrogiovanni said.
“It has a beautiful cottage look about it.
“It’s near the shopping centre, with a lovely lounge, playground, a meeting room, kindergarten and maternal child and health centre.”
The council is yet to announce details and dates for community consultation.
It would include social media, emails, mailout to petitioners, and consultation with key stakeholders, Mr Fidler said.
The hub update page is at greaterdandenong.vic.gov.au/works-and-projects/dandenong-community-hub