Councilors at Wyndham City have denied an application from the Punjabi Folk Dance Academy to move into a new facility in Truganina, due to their concern that the business would not bring enough jobs to meet the goals of the council‘s local employment precinct structure plan.
Palwinder Singh, the owner of the Academy, had purchased the property for $500,000, and was hoping to move his classes from their current location at Tarneit Rise Primary School, due to limited availability at the school hall.
Mr. Singh expressed disappointment at the decision, mentioning that he had spent both time and money on the project, and was worried about affording the property without the business.
The application was recommended for approval by council officers, however it was rejected by the majority of councillors, who argued it was inconsistent with the vision of the precinct.
Each class at the dance school would have included eight students and one instructor, and the Truganina Employment PSP, approved in 2009, was anticipated to bring 10,000–15,000 jobs to the area.
Councillor Josh Gilligan stated that the dance academy would not be able to generate enough jobs to justify its approval, “This is about making sure we’re being consistent and protecting this area for more higher density jobs,” he said.
“It wasn’t too long ago we booted out a tobacco company that was selling retail products. We voted to boot them out because we believed the consistency, which the PSP is structured and the types of uses in terms of high density of jobs, must be preserved at all costs.
“I believe we need to apply the same practice irrespective of the type of business”, and Councillor Robert Szatkowski agreed, saying that it was important to protect the area as a commercial zone.