I rise to support the traders in the Oakleigh Village shopping centre. Oakleigh Village is incredible. It has some of the best food, best hospitality, best cafes and best bars in Melbourne and Victoria. It is a shame that Monash council is moving towards a plan to remove, initially, 14 car spots from Portman Street, one of the main streets in Oakleigh, and four loading zones because they have a vision for creating outdoor dining right through Portman Street. My and the traders’ message to them is: we have an extraordinary strip of outdoor dining called Eaton Mall. Portman Street, Chester Street and Atkinson Street have many other uses. They are where people go to buy meat at the butchers or do their banking or go to delis or nut shops, veg shops, hairdressing, gift shops and beauty therapy shops.
Oakleigh Village is not just a place for cafes. It is an entire village that serves the entire community. Having car spaces in Portman Street right next to those butchers and those other shops matters to customers and matters to Oakleigh Village’s success. It is the same in Chester Street. The message to the council is: listen to the traders, keep the car spots, keep the place as it is, keep it clean and keep investing in infrastructure in a way that supports businesses and does not detract from businesses.