New look mall for Monash

An enthusiastic crowd braved the ninth day of Melbourne’s heat wave to celebrate the completion of a $2.75 million upgrade of Eaton Mall in Oakleigh on March 12th.

The extensive refurbishment of this dynamic multicultural precinct was officially launched by the Minister for Multicultural Affairs & Citizenship, the Hon. Nick Kotsiras, who was joined by the City of Monash Mayor Micaela Drieberg, State Member for Oakleigh Ann Barker and Oakleigh Traders Association President Vince Marzaile.

In his launch speech, Minister Kotsiras described Oakleigh as the “multicultural heart of Melbourne”, attracting a thriving diverse population. He congratulated Monash City Council for its vision and project leadership over the past three years.

The project was funded by the Victorian Government ($1 million) under the Cultural Precincts and Community Infrastructure Fund, the Department of Planning & Community Development ($300,000), Monash City Council ($900,000) and by Melbourne Water, who supported the upgrade by undertaking complementary drainage works.

“Eaton Mall has long been one of the liveliest Mediterranean retail and food destinations in Victoria and has been used as a meeting place for the Greek community and many other migrant communities over many generations,” said Minister Kotsiras.

According to the 2011 ABS Census, the City of Monash is one of Victoria’s most culturally and linguistically diverse municipalities, with 44.7 percent of residents born overseas and around 142 languages spoken throughout the area.

Mayor Drieberg said the upgrade of the Mall had made it safer and more stylish, and she praised the subtle southern European features that had been incorporated, such as the olive and fig leaves stenciled on the seats.

“This mall has now undergone a complete makeover, which was needed, as some of its infrastructure was more than 30 years old,” said the Mayor.

“We’ve introduced sustainably harvested timber street furniture, striking sculptural pieces, water sensitive landscaping, using rainwater captured by improved drainage, and energy efficient lighting.”

Mayor Drieberg said the Mall had proved very popular on recent hot nights, with people enjoying the social atmosphere.

“It’s great to see people enjoying what has been created,” she said. “The more people who visit, the more local business will benefit, and that secures local jobs into the future.”

The first stage of works at the southern end of the busy pedestrian mall was completed in 2010, with the second stage carried out over the past nine months.