Mr DIMOPOULOS (Oakleigh) — I rise today to record my sincere appreciation of the Rotary Club of Oakleigh and its incredible work over many years for the local community. The Oakleigh Rotary team is well known for its long-term commitment to running a Sunday market in the Oakleigh area. In its nearly 28 years of operation this truly fantastic market on Hanover Street has raised over $1 million for charitable works and people in our community. Every Sunday — rain, hail or shine — the Rotary team is out in force, coordinating a market that people come to from all over Melbourne.
In recent times the Rotary Sunday market was under threat due to a local council proposal to sell to developers the public land on which it is held. As I said when this matter came before Monash City Council last year, not only would sale of the land have removed an important car park, it would have displaced the market — something that is a true icon in my community.
I am thrilled to say that on Tuesday the Hanover Street site and Rotary market were saved. I would like to praise the work of the Oakleigh Rotary team — in particular market chairman, Peter Norman, and John Jarvis, president of the Oakleigh Rotary Club — and the whole Rotary community for their longstanding, dedicated commitment on behalf of our community.
I would also like to single out local resident Chris Pearson and the many volunteers and stallholders who have worked tirelessly in recent months to save the Rotary market. Together they collected around 3500 signatures on a petition to keep the market. On Tuesday over 200 local residents attended a Monash City Council meeting, where the proposal to sell the site was rejected, now and into the future. I am very pleased that common sense prevailed and that the Oakleigh Rotary team can now continue their fine work into the future.