News - Pakenham Officer Star News - 21st October 2021

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PAKENHAM OFFICER

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Thursday, 21 October, 2021

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Students helping out the homeless

Sweet treats a cool hit

Moody wins his home Cup

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SPORT

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Slowly getting back to normal

Main St facelift By Gabriella Payne

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Pakenham’s Main Street could be in for a facelift, if Cardinia Shire Council’s submission to the Vic Gov’s Growing Suburbs Fund is successful. Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS Mayor Brett Owen agreed with his fellow councillors and said it would be great if these grants were approved by the government. “At some shops in Pakenham, you still have to step up to get into them which makes them not accessible for people with disabilities - so seeing street improvements in the Pakenham township would be fantastic,” he said.

Councillor Jeff Springfield said he also fully supported all three of these projects and said that they would” all be of such great community benefit” in the long run. “The streetscape improvements (in Pakenham) are going to tie in so nicely with all the level crossing removal project work. “I can’t wait to see what Pakenham looks

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like in five to six years time.” The Victorian Government is expected to announce the successful grant recipients at some point in December, and construction must commence within 18 months of the funding announcement - so fingers crossed, some big improvements could be on the cards!

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The Cardinia Shire Council is hoping to “breathe some life” back into Pakenham’s Main Street precinct, labelled by one councillor as “dirty and disgusting”, after endorsing their three priority applications for the Victorian Government’s Growing Suburbs fund for 2021/2022. At the council meeting on the evening of Monday 19 October, Councillor Jack Kowarzik announced that the council had chosen to endorse (in priority order) the creation of a new Garfield North Community Centre, streetscaping upgrades and improvements to Pakenham’s Main Street and the creation of a missing trail link on the Eastern Dandenong Ranges Trail. “The total ask for these three projects is $2.5 million,” Cr Kowarzik said at the meeting, stating that all three projects had been chosen by council as worthy recipients and submitted before the government’s application deadline on Wednesday 13 October. Cr Kowarzik said that while they were all worthwhile community investments, he was particularly hoping to see the improvements to Pakenham Main Street go ahead, as the community had been pushing for this for a long time. “There’s been a real push in the community to breathe life back into the town centre, and to improve its visual look and the accessibility for pedestrians,” he said. Councillor Carol Ryan echoed Cr Kowarzik’s sentiments. “It is exciting to see these projects developing and I think that the Pakenham Main Street improvements have been a long time coming,” Cr Ryan said. “It’s been quite dirty and disgusting for many years, and these upgrades will not only enhance services for our community to use and feel safe, but will also encourage people to use public transport a lot more.”