illustration of pool

Advocacy

The City of Greater Dandenong has a strong history of achieving many significant outcomes through a range of approaches to advocacy.

A number of key priorities have emerged following feedback from our community and stakeholders. These are outlined in detail below and form the basis of our current advocacy campaign.

Download State Election Advocacy Issues 2022 - 7.35MB

Cr Jim Memeti

A message from the Mayor

Greater Dandenong City Council has a strong and proud record of project delivery. We have successfully advocated and been the recipient of grant funds over many years and have a demonstrable record of converting those funds to significant outcomes. 
Council has also been prepared to optimise its borrowing to build and renew infrastructure for its community and will continue to do so while diverse needs exist.

However we do remain reliant on grant funding – particularly at this critical point in time, post-COVID and when we have before us a number of major projects – including the every obvious Dandenong Wellness Centre that is projected to cost $82M, but will deliver immeasurable outcomes for the entire south east region.

We urge consideration of ongoing support for my ‘can do’ Council.

The Greater Dandenong community aspire to do more and achieve more and this advocacy plan is merely the tip of a large list of projects that will benefit this community for many years to come.

Council is committed to delivering on these aspirations and once the current priorities – for which we now advocate – are committed, we will be pursuing these and any projects that together, will make Greater Dandenong an even better place to live, work and visit.

Cr Jim Memeti
Mayor

Dandenong Wellbeing Centre artist impression

Dandenong Wellbeing Centre

A world-class aquatic centre

The Dandenong Wellbeing Centre (DWC) will be a world-class aquatic centre with an unprecedented focus on health and wellbeing outcomes. Customised to meet the needs of Greater Dandenong’s diverse community, the DWC will replace Dandenong Oasis (which is over 40 years old) and become a destinational facility for the south east region.

The DWC will reposition the traditional Australian aquatic centre to a ‘next generation preventative health centre’ in response to the challenging health status of the community.

The Centre will combine contemporary aquatic and leisure facilities with allied health services, education programs and community spaces to provide an integrated facility that is focused on maximising community benefit. The DWC will cater for a broad cross section of the community including non-traditional aquatic centre users (special needs groups, multicultural groups, females, older adults etc.) by minimising barriers and maximising opportunities participation and social connection.

What makes the DWC different from traditional aquatic centres?

  • Strategic focus on health and wellbeing objectives to overcome poor health and low participation levels in Greater Dandenong.
  • Unique facility offering specifically designed for a high needs community.
    • Unprecedented amount of warm water across two pools that can be used simultaneously for programs (i.e. gentle exercise and women’s only sessions), therapy / rehabilitation and casual use (i.e. for relaxation, social interaction).
    • Community meeting spaces to facilitate the delivery of programs in partnership with community agencies / groups, health providers, education sector etc.
    • Enhanced dry health and fitness offering (900sqm gym and four program rooms) to provide a broad range of programs (i.e. cultural dance, women’s only gym) and supported sessions for beginners, people with special needs etc.
    • Integration with allied health: An expansive allied health area with capacity to provide a range of services (i.e. physiotherapy, women’s health, chronic pain management, sports medicine, dietician, psychologist etc.) and customised programs within the Centre –utilising the warm water pools, gymnasium, meeting rooms etc.
    • Design approach: Welcoming spaces that aim to minimise barriers to participation through universal design, separation of active and passive areas, low sensory spaces, enhanced privacy and by creating environments that encourage social connections (i.e. community lounge / foyer, café, plaza, ample seating etc).
    • Targeted programs and services in partnership with key stakeholders such as return to work programs, supported introductory activity programs for culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) groups, females etc., educational seminars relating to wellbeing, healthy food choices, water safety for adults and warm water activities such as women’s only classes, rehabilitation, parent and child learn to swim etc.
    • A learning organisation: Research opportunities with tertiary education sector partners to contribute to the continuous improvement of the DWC and the industry.
    • Leading in sustainable design: Targeting an all-electric 5 Star Green Star building with a broad range of ESD measures.
    • Technologically advanced: Using technology to maximise the user experience and deliver content outside the four walls of the Centre (via virtual classes and streaming services).
    • Complementary outdoor spaces: Outdoor spaces including synthetic pitches, community park and plaza to maximise programming and community gathering outside of the Centre

Delivering significant benefits

Evidenced Based Investment Justification based on detailed consultation and planning, including a DTF compliant business case).

  • Responds to the needs of Melbourne’s most disadvantaged and multicultural community.
  • Benefit Cost Ratio of 2.1.
  • Targeted health and wellbeing focus, aligning with local and State Government health objectives.
  • 84 per cent increase in attendance / participation.
  • $8.9M pa in ‘social value’ / reduced burden on the health care system.
  • Ideally located in a high-profile health and education precinct.
  • Unique facility / service offer catering for the broader south east region.
  • Potential for a future co-located community health facility at Mills Reserve.
  • Adding $3.3M pa to the economy on average for 30 years.
  • 150 direct and 585 supply chain jobs created during construction.
  • 5 Star Green Star (minimum) all-electric facility.
  • Overwhelming community support
  • Shovel ready in 2022-23

What we are seeking 

  • The Greater Dandenong City Council is seeking major funding support towards the projected $90 million capital cost to build the DWC.
  • The DWC will surpass a traditional LGA aquatic centre and requires State and Federal Government support to develop a benchmark facility to address the health and wellbeing of one of Victoria’s most multicultural and disadvantaged communities.

Read more about the Dandenong Wellbeing Centre.

Dandenong Wellbeing Centre Plan - 6.5MB

Contact details for further information

Emma Michie
Coordinator Special Projects
8571 5250
emma.michie@cgd.vic.gov.au

people shopping

Anti-Poverty Strategy Support

Introduction

Poverty disproportionately affects the Greater Dandenong community across a range of economic indicators. The 2021 Census found that the median weekly gross individual income stood at $618, the second lowest in Melbourne and 73 per cent of the metropolitan median. In March 2022, the unemployment rate in Greater Dandenong was 8.3 per cent - representing 7,000 residents - the second highest rate in Victoria, and substantially higher than the Victorian rate of 4.5 per cent. In 2016, nearly a third (32 per cent) of local households were living in acute financial stress – among the highest prevalence of rental stress in the state, and well in excess of the metropolitan level of 26 per cent

However, poverty and socio-economic disadvantage goes beyond economics, describing people within our community that cannot participate in activities many of us take for granted. Poverty is not fixed and can take place during any time within a lifespan.
Greater Dandenong is the most culturally diverse community in Australia with residents from 157 birthplaces with 64 per cent of the population born overseas. Over 200 languages and dialects are spoken within the municipality, with the highest rates of languages other than English spoken in Victoria.  An estimated 26 per cent of residents have very limited English literacy creating barriers to navigating the complex service system to find the right support for their circumstances.

Addressing poverty requires a long-term effort to create positive change. The Anti-Poverty Strategy offers current and future partners a framework to collaborate and build on connections in a focused approach to working together – yet also ensuring appropriate immediate support for community due to the impact of COVID-19 and rising cost of living.  

Background

Council has worked with a consortium of non-profit services over a two-year period to co-design Australia’s first municipal Anti-Poverty Strategy that seeks to work collaboratively and collectively to create a positive impact for our community.  

Learning from the process has found poverty is an issue for all, and if addressed benefits everyone. Further it is integral that people with experience of poverty are consulted when formulating plans and programs to address it.  The design of the strategy included consultations with over 100 community members with lived experience of poverty and input from a range of diverse stakeholders.
Service mapping shows that there is a significant number of services available for community support in Greater Dandenong, however consultation results indicate that these were hard to navigate, and it was difficult for community members to know what was available to assist them in their unique circumstances.  

Services have increasingly come to rely on webpages and applications, but these are not always accessible to people experiencing poverty. This is due to the inability to afford data, and often further complicated by language barriers. 
Services, varying from voluntary to professional, are passionate and hardworking yet have little time and opportunities for upskilling and are often competing for limited resources.

Government can support better coordination of services through improved networking and knowledge sharing by all levels of government (including reporting data and funded activity details) and service mapping/gaps identification.

What we are seeking

  • Increased funding for emergency relief organisations to provide culturally appropriate support for community during the current cost-of-living crisis. 
  • Funding to support the coordination and implementation of the Anti-Poverty Strategy including staffing and initiatives to enhance the collective impact approach.
  • Increased collaboration with State and Federal government departments including regular networking and sharing of data and activity details.

Contact details for further information

Jim Davine
Director Community Services
8571 1560
jim.davine@cgd.vic.gov.au

house

Social and Affordable Housing in Greater Dandenong

Introduction 

The City of Greater Dandenong is the most multicultural and diverse municipality in Australia with residents from 157 birthplaces and 64 per cent of its 169,000 population born overseas. Over 200 languages and dialects are spoken within the municipality with languages other than English spoken by over two-thirds (70 per cent) of its residents – the highest level in Victoria. A significant portion of the residents are recent migrants, refugees and people seeking asylum.

Homelessness in Greater Dandenong is different to the homelessness witnessed in Melbourne’s Central Business District (CBD), inner cities or along coastal suburbs. This is because Greater Dandenong is a community of marked cultural diversity and ongoing migrant settlement which faces the challenges of low-income levels, high unemployment, unfavourable educational outcomes, a substantial rate of refugee settlement, lower levels of mental and physical health than the Victorian average, and elevated crime rates.  

The population cohorts most at risk of homelessness in Australia have been identified as disengaged youth, recent migrants including refugees and people seeking asylum, single-parent households, people living in rent-related poverty, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, women over the age of 55, unemployed residents and low-income households, women and children escaping family violence, LGBTIQ young people, people with disabilities, people with mental health problems, and older people living on a pension. 

These population cohorts, with or without intersectional disadvantages, account for approximately two-fifths of Greater Dandenong’s population. With 1,200 people seeking asylum living within Greater Dandenong as of 2021, many find themselves living in low quality housing, with highly precarious tenures, and inadequate physical standards.

Background

Greater Dandenong has the highest rate of homelessness in Victoria. On Census night in 2016, 1942 people were found to be sleeping rough or in temporary accommodations - nearly three times the Victorian average of 0.42 per cent. 

In 2016, nearly a third (32 per cent) of local households were living in acute financial stress – among the highest prevalence of rental stress in the state, and well in excess of the metropolitan level of 26 per cent. The proportion of local, available rented properties that are affordable to a family on Centrelink payments has declined from 83 per cent in 2001, to 9 per cent by 2020.

In the past 20 years, median housing prices in Greater Dandenong have more than trebled in real terms. Local house purchase prices rose by 37 per cent (after inflation) in the decade to 2020, compared with 14 per cent across metropolitan Melbourne.

Of the 3000 requests for assistance from specialist homelessness services in Greater Dandenong in 2018-19, 57 per cent involved females, of whom, nearly half (43 per cent) cited family violence as their reason for seeking assistance. Currently there is only one option within the Greater Dandenong area for women and children escaping family violence.

What we are seeking

  • Increase funding of the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement (NHHA) - for affordable housing, social housing, encouraging growth and supporting the viability of the community housing sector, and for NHHA homelessness priorities and initiatives that reduce the incidence of homelessness and contribute to improved data collection and reporting.
  • Increase to Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) - CRA payments to low-income renters are no longer sufficient in achieving rental affordability, because the value of CRA has fallen behind rent. An increase in CRA is necessary so that families and individuals are not pushed out of the private rental market or forced into overcrowded living conditions.  
  • Increase to JobSeeker - increase to a liveable wage and tie to wages, so to relieve housing stress amongst households.
  • Liveable income made available to people seeking asylum - many families and individuals having been denied access to a safety-net and liveable income (Status Resolution Support Services Program, JobSeeker, Commonwealth Rent Assistance) and their ability to remain within private rentals has become harder to achieve.
  • Funding to construct a bespoke crisis accommodation facility in Greater Dandenong for women and children experiencing family violence - developed by Greater Dandenong Council in partnership with local Housing provider, WAYSS.

Contact details for further information

Social Housing
Jim Davine
Acting Director Community Services
8571 5160
martin.fidler@cgd.vic.gov.au

Affordable Housing
Jody Bosman
Director City Planning, Design and Amenity
8571 1468
jody.bosman@cgd.vic.gov.au

happy people

People Seeking Asylum

Refugee Status Determination 

Introduction

Since 2018, the Local Government Mayoral Taskforce Supporting People Seeking Asylum has been advocating for the rights of people seeking asylum to the Federal and Victorian State Government. 

Established and chaired by Greater Dandenong Council, the Taskforce is now made up of 36 councils nationwide, banding together to advocate for a fairer and swifter Refugee Status Determination system. 

Playing a pivotal role in the Taskforce’s advocacy efforts has been the Back Your Neighbour campaign. The campaign will seek to mobilise community support to influence federal policies around a fairer Refugee Status Determination process in the lead up to the 2022 Federal Election.

Background

Right now, in Australia there are over 90,000 people awaiting their applications for protection to be finalised. This includes people who have waited for over eight years. 

This overly slow approach to processing people’s applications prevents individuals and families gaining the stability that refugee status provides. The result is vulnerable people living on the edge for years. 

People seeking asylum who live in the community are also denied access to a number of critical support services such as Centrelink, Medicare, public housing, homelessness, education, mental health and food. 

This leaves highly vulnerable individuals and families with nothing to survive on but help from local charities.

This cost shifting has also meant that State and local governments are left to pick up the pieces and respond to the additional demand for crisis support, with many aid organisations becoming overstretched in their ability to provide appropriate levels of support.

The Federal Government has a responsibility to process asylum claims quickly and to support people until they can move forward with their lives in a positive way. 

What we are seeking from the Federal Government:

  • Replace the existing system with a single Refugee Status Determination process and an independent, timely and fair merits review.

  • Replace Temporary Protection Visas with a permanent humanitarian visa. 

  • Increase funding to urgently clear the backlog of asylum applications and appeals. 

  • Provide access to Centrelink. Medicare and other support services for applicants. 

What we are seeking

  • Provide funding to local services who are supporting individuals and families seeking asylum. 

Contact details for further information

Martin Fidler
Director Community Services
8571 5211
martin.fidler@cgd.vic.gov.au

Past Advocacy efforts

Read Joint Statement on Asylum Seekers Living in the Community - 295.7KB

Read Refugees and Asylum Seekers: Greater Dandenong's Role

Read Council Minutes, 13 June 2017 - 4.79MB

Read Council Minutes, 13 March 2018 - 14.58MB

Read Council's letter to Hon Peter Dutton, Minister for Home Affairs - 854.91KB

Read Council's advocacy actions against changes to the eligibility criteria for the Status Resolution Support Services (SRSS) for people seeking asylum.

flowers

Sustainability in Greater Dandenong

Introduction 

Greater Dandenong City Council joined a growing number of cities around Australia in January 2020 by declaring a ‘Climate and Ecological Emergency’, committing us to emergency action on climate change.

While Council can influence climate and sustainability related outcomes, it cannot do it alone. If we are to achieve our vision of becoming one of the most sustainable and climate resilient cities in the world, we need to provide leadership that helps mobilise our community, other levels of government, our partners and key stakeholders to act. Support from state and federal governments is critical to achieving this.

Council has already taken significant action to reduce greenhouse emissions and do our fair share to limit global warming to 1.5°C and reduce exposure to the unavoidable impacts of a climate change crisis, in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement. Key initiatives implemented to date include:

  • 600kW of rooftop solar installed from 2019 to 2021
  • Adoption of a Sustainable Buildings Policy prohibiting natural gas at any new Council assets
  • Participation in the Victorian Energy Collaboration (VECO) to source 100% renewable electricity for Council’s assets.

In line with global targets to reduce emissions, Greater Dandenong Council is aiming to become a net zero carbon Council by 2025 and a zero carbon emission city by 2040 through measures focused initially on efficient use of clean renewable energy sources.

Demonstrating leadership by declaring a Climate and Ecological Emergency and setting a target to become a net zero carbon emission city will provide a range of co-benefits for our community, whether it be through improving the liveability of the city, improving health and wellbeing outcomes, supporting our most vulnerable, or protecting and enhancing our biodiversity.

Background

As the most socio-economically disadvantaged community in Melbourne, Greater Dandenong will be more exposed to some of the worst impacts, as the more vulnerable in our community are likely to lack the resources to prepare for or respond to climate change, or to recover from its impacts.

To achieve the best outcomes for the municipality and our community (both current and future generations), Council’s and the community’s strategic decisions must also include integrated planning for climate change risks and increasing the resilience of the city and community. This will also help place local business and industry in Greater Dandenong to remain viable and be in a better and necessary position to take advantage of the economic opportunities that becoming a resilient, net zero carbon emissions city can provide.

Greater Dandenong is home to one of the largest industry and manufacturing hubs in Australia, with the industrial sector generating a significant number of local employment opportunities. With this however comes a large greenhouse gas emissions profile, due to the associated energy intensity of heavy industry and manufacturing. Supporting our industrial sector to transition away from natural gas; to electrify and source electricity solely from on-site solar and renewable energy, power purchasing agreements where possible will have a major impact on the community’s overall emissions profile while ensuring a transition for industry into a net zero future. 

What we are seeking

Funding assistance toward: 

  • Electrification of Council’s buildings and assets (replacement of gas plant, hot water units and kitchen appliances etc) – phasing out natural gas across Council’s assets will demonstrate leadership in this space, provide case studies to increase confidence by residents and industry that phasing out natural gas is possible, and set up Council assets for future “virtual power plant” schemes in which excess renewable electricity generated by on-site solar can be shared throughout the community.
  • Electrification and energy efficiency upgrades across Greater Dandenong’s industrial sector – removing natural gas processes and appliances from the industrial sector will significantly reduce emissions, protect our businesses from forecasted rising gas prices and enable greater uptake of renewable energy.
  • Purchase of electric fleet vehicles – with 10% of Council’s emissions attributed to its fleet, a transition to 100% electric fleet vehicles will significantly lower corporate emissions while demonstrating leadership and reducing anxiety in the community around convenience and range.
  • Installation of electric vehicle fast chargers at Council’s assets and across the municipality – rollout of electric vehicle fast chargers must occur in tandem with a societal shift to uptake of electric vehicles to ensure consumer confidence in overcoming range anxiety. A designated number of electric vehicle chargers are included in new Council assets by default, but greater financial support.

Contact details for further information

Jody Bosman
Director City Planning, Design & Amenity
8571 1530
jody.bosman@cgd.vic.gov.au
 

 

cars and road

Transport Infrastructure

Addressing shortfalls in transport infrastructure impacting the regional economy and community

The following projects fall under three themes:

  • Supporting the role of Greater Dandenong as a major employment hub, manufacturing centre, generator of exports and distribution hub.
  • Improving public transport facilities that are not compliant with DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) standards.
  • Extending and upgrading shared user path networks to improve access to employment and recreation.
  • Improving road safety for all users of the Greater Dandenong transport networks.

Theme 1 - Dandenong as a major employment hub

Greater Dandenong is home to the Dandenong National Employment and Innovation Cluster (NEIC) which includes the Dandenong Metropolitan Activity Centre and Dandenong South State Significant Industrial Precinct (SSIP). 

Dandenong South has major manufacturing, warehousing /distribution and is an employment powerhouse in providing a vital source of jobs for the abutting and fast-growing south-east growth area. These include very large industries such as Bombardier, Volgren, Iveco, Visy, Nissan, Kraft, Pilkington and Jayco as well as numerous warehousing/distribution companies such as Woolworths, Aldi, Amazon and Bunnings.  

While Dandenong South has a surrounding freeway and arterial road network that provides access to the Port of Melbourne and the broader metropolitan area, it is constrained by a range of “last mile” transport infrastructure shortfalls. These include:  

  • Poor internal east west access which restricts economic activity and access to jobs and services.
  • Poor access to the adjoining residential growth areas which have a net shortage of jobs. This adversely impacts outcomes for the region’s liveability and social inclusion, effectively locking out a proportion of the potential workforce. 
  • Increasing peak-hour congestion caused by gaps in the surrounding arterial road network. 

Council’s Transport Plan proposes a range of infrastructure projects to address existing problems and build for the future. Many of these are critical to ensure the NEIC SSIP fulfils its ongoing role as an employment and economic powerhouse however are well beyond Council’ capacity to fund.  

The following four transport projects have potential to unlock the productivity and increase the resilience of this area and the liveability of the adjoining residential growth area by moving people and freight around more quickly, more safely and more efficiently.

Project 1 – Complete the Dandenong Bypass

This completed arterial will connect the eastern end of the existing Dandenong Bypass at the South Gippsland Highway with the South Gippsland Freeway. It will: 

  • provide a direct east west link between the South Gippsland Freeway/Western Port Highway easing pressure on the congested South Gippsland Highway and surrounding access roads
  • help separate traffic which does not have a destination in the NEIC from that which does
  • finalise the Bypass of the Dandenong Activity Centre
  • support the development of Noble Park and Springvale Activity Centres as 20-minute neighbourhoods.

When in combination with a right-hand turn interchange between the South Gippsland Freeway and Monash Freeway, this project will provide an overall high capacity network capable of moving all forms of traffic across this part of the region.
Indicative Cost: $265 million.

Project 2 – Complete the missing internal ‘last mile’ east west route

This project comprises principally a bridge over the Eumemmerring Creek, construction of a short extension of Bangholme Road and intersection treatment at Dandenong-Frankston Road.

It completes a continuous link through the heart of the industrial precinct to provide swift access for freight and the local workforce. It accesses the South Gippsland Freeway through a chain of arterial roads with potential for a longer-term connection with EastLink. 
Key lengths of this route have already been completed or have been committed to be built within two years.

The accompanying figure shows those parts of the link that have been completed, committed and yet to be constructed. Completion of the outstanding components will: 
•    significantly improve connectivity and access to existing businesses
•    lift productivity and help drive economic growth
•    increase the legibility of the precinct for those accessing the area
•    increase transport network resilience.

At this stage, a bridge consisting of one lane of traffic in each direction is proposed.  A future upgrade duplicating the bridge, sections of other nearby roads and Eastlink Ramps will form a future new East-West Arterial through Dandenong South.

Indicative Cost: $38 million 

Project 3 – Build Glasscocks Road 

Glasscocks Road is planned as a major east west arterial linking the Casey growth area to employment and other opportunities. It also directly serves the developing areas in Lyndhurst which are part of the NEIC. It is a vital component of the South East Growth Area Plan.

The full construction of Glasscocks Road is likely to occur in stages, eventually connecting Dandenong South as far as Officer with a total cost of over $200m.  One of the first stages for construction within Dandenong South is construction of Glasscocks Road in a new alignment between Frankston Dandenong Road and Westernport Highway ($32m).  This section will then be duplicated (a further $30m) as the road is extended further in to the City of Casey. 

Construction of Glasscocks Road will have the following benefits:

  • substantially upgrade east west access for residents and workers with a destination in Dandenong South and beyond
  • significantly improve freight access to the NEIC from the surrounding arterial and freeway network and help encourage investment, productivity and drive economic growth
  • significantly improve network resilience by reducing length of large detours during arterial network disturbances. 

Indicative Cost: 32 million Initial stage within Dandenong South

Theme 2 - Upgrade public transport facilities that are not DDA compliant and support bicycle use

Upgraded services are being progressively implemented along this line with newer high capacity trains planned to be rolled out this year along with increased services. While Springvale, Noble Park and Dandenong stations have seen upgrades in recent years, Yarraman and Sandown Park are much older style stations that lack many of the modern facilities enjoyed by other stations. 
In particular, Yarraman is not DDA compliant.

The platforms at Yarraman Station, can only be accessed via pedestrian footbridges that cross over the station. These footbridges are not DDA compliant as they have steep ramp grades without intermittent level landings. This makes their use unsafe, particularly for individuals with a disability. This station must be made DDA compliant by 31 December 2022.

Indicative Cost:  $1.8 million for DDA compliant ramps

Theme 3 - Extending and upgrading shared user networks

The City of Greater Dandenong has a bicycle network of 98 kilometres of off and on-road cycling paths including the EastLink and Dandenong Creek trails.

This bicycle network provides a number of benefits to the community and the region including:

  • an alternate and very affordable form of transport for commuters
  • reduced reliance on access to a private vehicle
  • links between neighbourhoods, suburbs and destinations of interest including jobs and services 
  • an opportunity to create a healthier lifestyle through physical exercise
  • opportunities to access and enjoy a range of natural environments
  • increased transport resilience.
  • Despite this extensive network there are a number of locations where there are major deficiencies or where opportunities exist to extend and upgrade facilities.

Three significant network upgrades are proposed. 

Project 1 - Continuation of the Djerring Trail shared user path to Dandenong 

As part of the level crossing removal project along the Dandenong railway line the Victorian Government has completed a premium-grade shared user path between Caulfield and Yarraman stations. The shared user path caters for both commuter and recreation cyclists as well as pedestrians.

However, the 2km leg from Yarraman Station to the Dandenong Station and Dandenong Metropolitan Activity Centre has not been constructed. Consequently, this relatively short section of the extensive Djerring Trail is a missing link between Caulfield and the south eastern suburbs.

Council has developed a design plan that demonstrates how this link can be developed in a practical manner.

Indicative Cost: $11 million

Project 2 - Construction of a strategic cycling corridor as part of the Cranbourne rail duplication project

The Victorian Government is currently duplicating eight kilometres of single track from Dandenong to Cranbourne paving the way for trains every ten minutes on the Cranbourne Line.

Track duplication works will kick off in 2020 and finish in 2022.

 As part of this project funds from the Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution (GAIC) Fund have been allocated to construct a share user path (SUP) alongside the upgraded rail line in the City of Casey between Western Port Highway and Cranbourne. This forms a section of the state Strategic Cycling Corridor between Dandenong and Cranbourne activity centres.

Despite “in principle” funding support for the SUP by the Victorian Government, the terms of the GAIC funding does not extend into Greater Dandenong (which is outside the Growth Area). Consequently, there is a shortfall in funding to build this strategic cycling corridor shared user path beyond the Growth Area (Western Port Highway) and Dandenong Activity Centre, a distance of around 7 kilometres.

Construction of the Greater Dandenong component would provide the opportunity to connect nearby residential areas with the significant employment locations available within the Dandenong South Industrial Precinct and Dandenong Activity Centre as well as providing recreational opportunities. 

Not delivering this SUP during the Cranbourne Line Upgrade works will result in significant direct and indirect costs due to additional rail disruptions.

The section of trail between Greens Road and National Drive could be undertaken as part of the Cranbourne Line Upgrade if funding was available. This would immediately leverage off the Pound Road West upgrade (by 2022) connecting residents to the employment area from Hampton Park, Narre Warren and Berwick via Pound Road SUP and the Hallam Valley Trail. It would also allow for municipal paths to be considered for construction to further distribute commuters via active transport throughout the greater employment area.

The remaining sections along this corridor require further consideration and design. With funding, this could also be undertaken within 12 months, minimising construction costs and rail disruptions. 
Upgrade Indicative Cost: $6.7 million to construct SUP between Greens Road and National Drive and $1 million to design remainder of the SUP.

Project 3-  EastLink Trail bridge over the rail line

The EastLink Trail is a popular recreational strategic cycling corridor which connects Carrum to Ringwood and beyond. The trail is severely interrupted by the Dandenong rail line at Railway Parade and Greaves Reserve, Noble Park and presents a major inconvenience to users. As a consequence:

  • cyclists must tackle a circuitous 400m detour via a non-DDA compliant route across the rail corridor
  • there is conflict between trail users and rail passengers within the station using the same route.

To overcome these barriers there is a need to construct a new dedicated bridge over the rail line adjacent to EastLink to make the trail more direct, convenient and safer for trail users, whilst reducing barriers to walking and cycling.

Indicative Cost: $7.5 million

Theme 4 - Improving road safety for all users of the Greater Dandenong transport networks

Project 1 - A safe pedestrian crossing on Stud Road near the Dandenong Stadium

There is a history of serious accidents on this section of Stud Road, including a pedestrian fatality in 2018.

Dandenong North residents and those accessing the Dandenong Stadium using the Smartbus on Stud Road cannot access the stadium or the playground / wetlands without walking 850m to the nearest crossing point and then 850m back along a section of road with no footpath.

Council officers and Department of Transport officers have undertaken investigative and design work and determined that signalisation of the intersection between Stud Road and McFees Road would be a suitable and highly beneficial option to address these issues.

Indicative Cost: $4 million

Project 2 – Road safety infrastructure and reduced speed limit on Jacksons Road, Noble Park North

Jacksons Road has an extensive history of road trauma, with a number of accidents occurring on the road, including fatalities in 2017 and 2021.
Council is urgently requesting a road safety review of this road, and believe that both a reduction in speed limit, and introduction of road safety infrastructure such as roundabouts or raised safety platforms would significantly improve road safety.

Council is willing to undertake any low cost signage or line marking measures to improve road safety on this arterial road. Council has developed a line marking plan to improve the road, incorporating advice from the Department of Transport, and an Independent Road Safety Auditor, but requires approval to be permitted to install this on a State managed arterial.

Indicative Cost: $0-1.5 million

Project 3 – Signalisation of Heatherton Road and Douglas Street, Noble Park

During consultation with the Noble Park community over many years, the Heatherton Road intersection with Douglas Street and Lightwood Road has repeatedly been identified as in need of upgrade.  Pedestrians and cyclists do not feel safe here and regularly use the location to access parts of the Activity Centre. The existing roundabout is a barrier to safe movement.  As the population increases and Noble Park is becoming busier, the number of pedestrians and cyclists using this location is increasing.

Previous planning exercises undertaken in the area have identified that replacing the existing roundabout at this location would signals would both improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists and reduce congestion.

Indicative Cost: $3-5 million

Project 4 – Pedestrian signals on Perry Road, Keysborough

As the new Keysborough South estate continues to get busier, the number of pedestrians crossing Perry Road is increasing.  There are currently controlled pedestrian crossing points to cater for this demand.

The provision of pedestrian operated signals on Perry Road between Tyers Lane and Westwood Boulevard would both improve road safety and encourage residents in the area to take up active modes of transport.
Indicative Cost: $0.5 million

Contact details for further information:

Paul Kearsley
Director Business, Engineering and Major Projects
8571 1571 
Paul.kearsley@cgd.vic.gov.au 

pedestrian crossing an people

Springvale Revitalisation Board

Introduction

Suburban Revitalisation Boards help to identify, support and deliver local economic and community renewal opportunities in selected activity centres across metropolitan Melbourne. The Office for Suburban Development works with the Boards to realise the full economic and social potential of these places.

Since 2021, the Noble Park Revitalisation Board has been providing a local voice to the Victorian Government’s Suburban Revitalisation program, working with local communities to identify opportunities for projects to make Noble Park thrive.  

Council welcomes the ongoing role of the Noble Park Board and the significant financial support provided by the State to deliver numerous successful projects and programs for the Noble Park community. We believe that a similar program should be instigated to support the Springvale activity centre.

Background

The Springvale Activity Centre is a popular and vibrant multicultural retail and commercial centre in Melbourne’s south-east. It is home to the largest and most established south-east Asian cultural precinct in Greater Dandenong, with a strong Vietnamese and Cambodian influence which gives it a unique Asian food and retail offer.

A significant amount of change has occurred in and around the centre in recent times including the removal of the Springvale level crossing and redevelopment of the railway station and bus transport interchange, plus construction of the first stage of the Springvale Road Boulevard project.

Springvale is home to 4 per cent of Victoria’s asylum seekers, often a first point of settlement. In 2021 there were 22,200 residents in Springvale from nearly 100 birthplaces, including Vietnam (22%), India (7.8%), Cambodia (5.9%) and China (5.6%) and Malaysia (4.8%).

Springvale has significant potential to grow and attract new investment. Many of these opportunities are outlined in the Structure Plan for Springvale, but it needs further support to assist with its social and economic challenges and its recovery from the ongoing impacts of COVID-19.

What we are seeking

Building on the achievements of the Revitalising Central Dandenong initiative and the Noble Park Revitalisation Board, we believe Springvale is a priority location for the Victorian Government to establish a new revitalisation board. Council, the community, businesses and other stakeholders would value the opportunity to collaborate on several new projects and programs that could build on the recent investment in the Springvale activity centre.  

We seek a commitment to a funded revitalisation program for the Springvale activity centre and to the appointment of a board to oversee this opportunity.

Contact details for further information

Paul Kearsley 
Director Business, Engineering and Major Projects
8571 1570
paul,kearsley@cgd.vic.gov.au

Words Shepley on a gate

Shepley Regional Multipurpose Centre

Introduction 

Shepley Oval is a regional sports facility located in Dandenong – a destination suburb in Melbourne’s south east. The oval is currently used for Cricket and Australian Rules Football. To ensure Shepley Oval’s relevance and future longevity Council is currently advocating for funding to build a Regional Multipurpose Centre on the site.

The centre will cater for hosting business forums and promoting local employment opportunities as well as support to sporting clubs to access the south-east region of Melbourne, while continuing to provide an operating base for Cricket Victoria, Dandenong District Cricket Association, Dandenong Cricket Club and the Dandenong Southern Stingrays Football Club. 
 
Key Features of the Centre include:

  • Multipurpose indoor training space, which can be converted into a six lane cricket net facility.
  • Multipurpose space for community use.
  • Multipurpose space to host industry forums to promote local employment and to profile the region’s manufacturing and industrial sectors
  • Six unisex change rooms with adjoining showers and toilets.
  • Referees unisex change room with adjoining showers and toilets.
  • Kiosk.
  • Male, female and accessible public toilets.
  • Administration ‘hot desk’ space for State, sporting and community group use.
  • Two meeting rooms.
  • New accessible grandstand for Shepley Oval.
  • Environmental standard design 5-star or equivalent.

Background

The perceived need for a community accessible multipurpose indoor training centre (MPITC) at Shepley Oval, Dandenong Park was first identified by Dandenong Cricket Club and Dandenong District Cricket Association in 2009.

Need and demand for the new facility has been assessed through consultation with a broad range of regional community sporting clubs, relevant community groups, Victorian peak sporting bodies and Sport and Recreation Victoria. 

The Make Your Move Greater Dandenong Physical Activity Strategy identified that the level in participation in physical activity by residents is significantly lower than the Victorian average with 49% and 73% respectively. In addition, the prevalence of diabetes (type 2) is 36% higher in the municipality than the Victorian average of 9%. This facility will provide much needed infrastructure for residents to participate in physical activity opportunities to improve these statistics. 

Targeted stakeholder consultation has been undertaken with over 27 sporting clubs and State Sporting Associations who identified demand for the new facilities. An online survey was undertaken with community sporting clubs in Greater Dandenong and 17 clubs with over 2000 current participants responded.

Meetings and workshops were held with Cricket Victoria, AFL Victoria Southern Metro, Dandenong Premier Men’s and Women’s Cricket Club, Dandenong Stingrays Football Club, St Kilda Football Club, Australian Futsal and Hockey Victoria.

Cricket Victoria is strongly interested in utilising the facility and view the facility as a regional/metropolitan hub. They have indicated that they would like to conduct various participation and sports development programs, including multicultural (Harmony) programs, school and community offerings, and conduct training and coaching seminars from the facility.

AFL Victoria has indicated they would like to deliver school and community programs, sports development and training seminars from the facility. They have also advised that the St Kilda Football Club will be interested in delivering programs from the venue.

Council’s Make Your Move Greater Dandenong Physical Activity Strategy 2020-2030 also identifies the need for a regional indoor training facility.

Schematic and detailed design and documentation has been completed, with construction proposed to commence dependent on funding. An option to stage the construction of the new Centre is also being considered subject to available funding.

What we are seeking

  • Capital grant funding assistance with a total project cost of $22 million for the development of the Shepley Regional Multipurpose Centre. Or:

    • Stage 1: Indoor Multi-purpose Centre ($12 million)

    • Stage 2: Grandstand and Shepley Oval amenities ($10 million)

Contact details for further information

Jim Davine
Acting Director Community Services
8571 5160
jim.davine@cgd.vic.gov.au we ae seeking:                Cap

young people sitting on wall

Local Government - Generalist Youth Service Provision

Introduction

The City of Greater Dandenong (CGD) is the most culturally diverse locality in Australia, with a youth population of approximately 31,000 people aged 12-25 years.  The work of Council is indicative of the significant investment local governments place on supporting and promoting the health and wellbeing of young people in their respective communities. 

Local Government is the mainstay of generalist youth service delivery in Victoria, characterised as youth specific, universally available, and flexible in approach. The provision of a baseline level of service to all young people means local governments perform a range of roles and functions, including planner, provider, and advocate. This work extends across a range of social and economic domains including arts and events, health and wellbeing, education, and skills training, mentoring and leadership, social groups, youth engagement; and aiding young peoples’ connection to the broader service system.

Background

The City of Greater Dandenong has a strong commitment to investing in the delivery of services and supports to young people aged 12-25 years.  A significant portion of our residents are recently arrived migrants, refugees and people seeking asylum. Both the demographic and priority need of the community reveal marked demand for youth services, especially given Council is one of only a few locally appointed, generalist youth services providing a baseline universal service. This means that apart from an age criterion, 12-25 years, our service can work with any young person irrespective of their personal circumstances.  

The resulting impacts reveal a burgeoning and sustained demand for services that is principally supported by Council’s budget. Recognition of the fiscal significance required to deliver a range of local generalist youth programs and services, continues to largely be overlooked by other levels of government. Except for Engage, FReeZA and Victoria Youth Week funding, State Government dollars continue to be largely assigned to specialist youth services. 

It is further recognised that the COVID-19 pandemic presents an evolving and compounding picture of consequences to young people’s mental health, wellbeing, and life circumstances, and will require ongoing investment and prioritisation by all levels of government for years to come.

What we are seeking

Increased investment to Victorian Local Governments to continue to provide and meet rising demand of the youth programming and services to support the health and wellbeing needs of young people.  

Contact details for further information

Jim Davine
Acting Director Community Services
Phone: 8571 5160  
jim.divine@cgd.vic.gov.au

young people sitting at wooden table

Vulnerable Young People – Service Access Response 

Introduction

The City of Greater Dandenong (CGD) is the most culturally diverse locality in Australia, with a youth population of approximately 31,000 people aged 12-25 years. There are over 2,500 young people disengaged in CGD, this represents a 27 per cent rise over the last five years. Young people continue to experience higher than average rates of youth unemployment and disengagement. The causes of this are complex, often arising from systemic barriers and/or persistent intergenerational disadvantage. 

In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic presents an evolving and compounding picture of consequences to young people’s mental health, wellbeing, and life circumstances. Data from the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System Final Report reveals an upward trend in demand for mental health and wellbeing support and resulting wait times to access services such as Headspace. Excessive wait times and the negative impacts this is having on young people were cited by many in this report. 

Background

A key function of Greater Dandenong City Council’s Youth and Family Service is leading community planning and advocacy for young people. Our service performs a vital partnership-building role, bringing together the different stakeholders that work with young people to coordinate service delivery, and advocate for the needs of young people and youth professionals. This includes convening the Greater Dandenong Youth Professional Network (which includes a membership base of 400 plus youth professionals) providing a service to young people in the municipality and neighbouring LGAs. 

In Greater Dandenong the youth service system is both complex and highly concentrated with services, including mandated and non-government services having a foothold in the municipality. Despite this expansive service system, youth specialist services are in high demand, where vulnerable and at risk young people are experiencing protracted wait times to access essential services. The adverse impacts of this can lead to a rapid decline in mental health status and risk behaviours becoming more complex and entrenched.  

Further to the Royal Commission Findings into Victoria’s Mental Health System, local anecdotal evidence highlights an increase in presentations since COVID to psychologists with many unwilling or ill-equipped to accept new referrals. Our public mental health services for young people continue to hold extensive wait lists leading from two to six months.  Sexual assault counselling services have a priority six week wait list with several months wait for services deemed non urgent.  

Youth Drug and Alcohol Services are also experiencing an increase in referrals, including self-referrals with wait times up to six weeks. 
Young people and families are turning to generalist youth services to provide essential psychosocial support while waiting for the specialist services required.  

What we are seeking

Provision of funding to provide short to medium term individual psychosocial support for young people experiencing excessive wait times for specialist services.

Contact details for further information

Jim Davine
Acting Director Community Services
Phone: 8571 5160  
jim.divine@cgd.vic.gov.au

artist impression of library space with chairs and desks

Noble Park Library Lounge

The Noble Park Library Lounge will support local people to connect, study, work and conduct business through accessing library materials and facilities close to home. The Library Lounge will deliver on needs identified through the recent municipal Library Services Feasibility Study and Facilities Plan by enhancing the Paddy O’Donoghue centre to respond to new and emerging needs of the local community, and to revitalise the existing community centre to be a place where people can imagine, explore and discover together.  

Background

The Noble Park Library Lounge is a critical element of the City’s long-term library infrastructure, as it simultaneously responds to the four main areas of future population growth. It will:

  • provide a service point in Noble Park to support the growing community
  • draw people back from Dandenong and Springvale Libraries, freeing up capacity to deal with increased population in those catchments
  • provide a service option for people living in the City’s northern suburbs
  • meet the library needs of people living in the proposed Sandown Racecourse development.

The proposed site at Paddy O’Donoghue centre provides access to community services in Noble Park’s central shopping district and activity area, within close proximity to the railway station. 

Project scope

The Noble Park Library Lounge is scalable and broadly self serve by design, and is intended to include:

  • small general collection (up to 1,000 items) which people can borrow via self-checkout, and a supported sustainable repurposed collection 
  • access for collection of reserved items and to drop off return items 
  • free Wi-Fi, one or two public access computers and access to the library catalogue 
  • comfortable furniture for recreational reading 
  • quiet individual study or workspaces and a meeting room for small groups or local activities (within the broader use of the facility if appropriate)
  • onsite library programs run by the library service and other partners
  • history wall display to celebrate the local history of the Noble park area.

Project Status

A detailed feasibility study is in development, building on the Library Feasibility Study and Facilities Plan.
The study will include detailed design for the upgraded centre and an initial operational plan, and is anticipated to be completed by 31 August 2022.

The next stage would involve project build and delivery.

Project Build cost: $500,000 

What we are seeking

Grant funding of $500,000 for the redevelopment of the centre into a Library Lounge.

Contact details for further information

Jim Davine
Acting Director Community Services 
Phone: 8571 5160
Jim.Davine@cgd.vic.gov.au
 

piggy bank

Windfall Gains Tax

Introduction

In an ideal world Council’s Revenue and Rating Plan would outline how Council will generate income to deliver on the Council Plan, program and services and capital works commitments over a 4-year period. The reality is that with capped rates and government grants representing over 80% of Councils income, Councils ability to increase revenue to match expenditure requirements is limited. 

To provide additional funding towards major community and social infrastructure – such as those outlined in this document – Victorian Councils have traditionally been able to raise funds via Development Contributions. Development Contributions are payments to Council as a result of new development and/or the subdivision of land. Contributions are used to pay for the provision of planned

To determine what Development Contribution is required, Councils work with the State Government to create a plan specific to the Council area. Development Contributions Plans (DCPs) help Council identify key services and infrastructure required to support its community, and:

  • identify and provide costings for the infrastructure projects throughout the precinct
  • establish a funding framework to deliver these projects
  • ensure the developers and wider community share the costs fairly.

Background 

As part of the 2021 State Budget, the Victorian Government announced the introduction of a Windfall Gains Tax (WGT) to apply to land that is subject to a government rezoning resulting in a value uplift to the land of more than $100,000.

At the time of the announcement the Treasurer indicated that the windfall gains tax would raise revenue for the State which would be "invested in public transport, schools and other vital infrastructure.”

Legislation introducing the tax was subsequently  passed in October 2021 and the new Windfall Gains Tax will take effect from 1 July 2023.

What we are seeking

Greater Dandenong City Council  recognises the opportunity for the State Government to generate significant revenue from potential future rezonings within the municipality. Given the level and extent of these funds, and the significant infrastructure needs of our community, Council is seeking a partnership with the State Government to ensure that a proportion of this revenue is hypothecated back into the projects outlined throughout Council’s Advocacy plan. 

Council notes there is an opportunity to identify both local revenue and expenditure priorities emanating from the WGT. 

Council believes that the existing framework for DCPs has established a precedent for Councils and the Government to jointly determine and prioritise the infrastructure needs of the community. Council is seeking a commitment to ensure this dialogue is continued and extended to formally include the Department of Treasury and Finance (DTF).

Contact details for further information

Jody Bosman
Director City Planning, Design & Amenity
Phone: 8571 1530
jody.bosman@cgd.vic.gov.au
 

leaves

Lyndhurst Landfill

For over 25 years the City of Greater Dandenong and its community have been expressing their grave concerns about and opposition to the depositing of contaminated waste at the Lyndhurst Landfill facility and seeking its earliest possible closure. The facility commenced operations under permits granted in the early 1990s by the then Shire of Cranbourne.

Following Council amalgamations in the mid 1990s the landfill operates within the municipal boundary of Greater Dandenong Council. 

The State Government, in abandoning the proposal of a site containment facility at Nowingi in north western Victoria, determined that the Lyndhurst landfill would accommodate prescribed industrial wastes until 2020.  It is now 2022 and the Minister for Planning, (who is the Responsible Authority for the site) has since the last election approved Planning Permits for uses on the site which in fact increases the longevity of the site, despite the City of Greater Dandenong lodging strong opposition to these.

On 26 February 2007 Council passed an 8-point resolution reinforcing key expectations relating to the earliest possible closure of Lyndhurst, potential health risks, and the development by the State Government of a state wide strategy for the proper operation and management of waste.

That resolution was conveyed in letters of February 2007 to the Hon John Thwaites, Deputy Premier and Minister for Water, Environment and Climate Change, as well as to the Hon Justin Madden, Minister for Planning.
In the ensuing years there have been a number of communications with Ministers and with members of Parliament but unfortunately there has never been a satisfactory response to Council’s advocacy in seeing the activities on the site curtailed or in committing to an early closure of the facility.  To the contrary as mentioned above, despite Council’s advocacy and written objections to the Minister for Planning, the State Government has seen fit to extend the life of the landfill site, with no clear end date in sight.

The matter has remained one of significant concern to the community of the City of Greater Dandenong and Council’s position going into the 2022 State election remains as steadfast as when on 24 March 2014 Council passed a resolution that:

  1. Council reaffirms its long held objective that the Lyndhurst Landfill Facility – and in particular, the Prescribed Waste Facility – be closed at the earliest possible date.
  2. Advice be sought from the Premier of Victoria on his Government’s position, and the status of any work, on the development of an alternate State wide Strategy that would see the closure of the Lyndhurst site arising from the introduction of other disposal solutions elsewhere – a key element of Council’s 2007 position.
  3. It be noted the numerous other facilities and actions have reportedly reduced demand for the Prescribed Waste Facility including modern, high technology soil facilities; and, State based landfill levies that have had a desired effect of redirecting waste from landfill and that these changes in direction, serve as a catalyst for State action to confirm an alternate State wide Strategy and close the current Lyndhurst facility and
  4. The leaders of major parties in the (then) forthcoming State election; all candidates in the vicinity – deemed to include communities with a direct interest in the facility – publicly declare –
  • their position on the Lyndhurst Prescribed Waste Facility
  • action they will take to ensure the earliest closure of the facility and
  • a date by which they will seek to ensure that closure will occur and, for which they will be publicly accountable.

Twenty years on, Council remains firmly committed to the earliest possible closure of the landfill site and part of this advocacy on 3 June 2014 the then Mayor, Cr Jim Memeti wrote to the Premier of Victoria expressing this Council and community’s concerns with its ongoing operation and seeking its early closure. A response dated 22 July 2014 received from the Hon Ryan Smith, Minister for Environment and Climate Change gave no comfort at all to the concerns raised.
On 6 December 2013 Council made a submission on Plan Melbourne – the final version of Plan Melbourne failed to address this major concern. And on 17 December 2015 a submission on the draft ‘Victorian Government’s Statewide Waste and Resource Recovery Implementation Plan’ using that opportunity to again raise the matter and drawing attention to the statement by former Premier Steve Bracks that “We should have determined exactly what we wanted to do and the reasons why we had to do it, then tied down the details. As it now stands, toxic waste continues to be stored at Lyndhurst, one of Melbourne’s outer suburbs, which is a far-from-satisfactory outcome.” - [Bracks, S, 2012, A Premier’s State, pg 165, Melbourne University Press]. 

The above concerns have been consistently and vigorously conveyed to both State and Federal politicians over many years, with this topic appearing in each of Council’s advocacy documents prior to the respective elections. 

What we are seeking:

Greater Dandenong City Council  recognises the opportunity for the State Government to generate significant revenue from potential future rezonings within the municipality. Given the level and extent of these funds, and the significant infrastructure needs of our community, Council is seeking a partnership with the State Government to ensure that a proportion of this revenue is hypothecated back into the projects outlined throughout Council’s Advocacy plan. 

Council notes there is an opportunity to identify both local revenue and expenditure priorities emanating from the WGT. 

Council believes that the existing framework for DCPs has established a precedent for Councils and the Government to jointly determine and prioritise the infrastructure needs of the community. Council is seeking a commitment to ensure this dialogue is continued and extended to formally include the Department of Treasury and Finance (DTF).

Contact details for further information

Jody Bosman
Director City Planning, Design & Amenity
8571 1530
jody.bosman@cgd.vic.gov.au

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