Indian precinct panel queried

Wyndham councillors Intaj Khan (pictured) or Gautum Gupta were not invited on to the panel.

Wyndham residents have questioned the state government’s handling of the Indian Cultural Precinct selection process.

About 35 people attended Monday night’s meeting at Werribee, chaired by the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship, to discuss possible locations and ideas for the precinct.

The state government has committed $500,000 towards developing an Indian cultural precinct in Victoria.

A spokesman for Multicultural Affairs Minister Robin Scott said a panel would assess locations, based on key criteria, and make its recommendations to the state government in late August.

For most of the 90-minute meeting, residents restated that they had struggled to find out what the key criteria were, making it difficult to make informed suggestions on the new precinct.

Point Cook resident Sudhir Juneja said residents were also furious there was no western suburbs representation on the government’s panel, whereas there is representation from Dandenong – another area vying for the precinct.

Mr Juneja, who believes Point Cook or East Werribee would be ideal locations, has garnered more than 600 signatures from an online petition calling for the precinct to be in Wyndham.

Cr Gautam Gupta said he was surprised that, as Wyndham had two Indian councillors, he or fellow councillor Intaj Khan weren’t asked to be on the panel.

One attendee suggested the precinct be modelled on Dilli Haat in Delhi, an outdoor market selling food and wares, which also hosts live performances. Another said it would attract tourists.