Support diversity in East St Kilda

The City of Port Phillip is about to consider a planning application for the Alma Rd Community House (ARCH) which is managed by Port Phillip Community Group. This is a fantastic facility, enjoyed by many people who live, work, play, and pray in the area. It is used for rummy tiles and childrens parties, play groups, other community organisations and prayer groups, secular and religious celebrations. It represents the diversity of our community. The Council also operates a Maternal Child Health Service and Immunisation sessions at the venue.

The current planning permit is 22-years-old and no longer reflects the space or the usage of the House. Hence the application for a new permit designating the house a placeof assembly for use by up to 100 people. There are no plans to change the use or the physical space. The planning application is simply to ensure that the permit reflects the current reality.

There has been a significant campaign against the planning application by some people who object to the use of the space by a Muslim prayer group for two hours a week. We believe that excluding this group - or other groups on religious grounds -would be illegal, discriminatory and limit the potential use for others in the community.

Tell the Council that the residents of Port Phillip and surrounds embrace diversity by signing the petition below.

We, the undersigned, urge the City of Port Phillip to approve the new planning application for 200 Alma Road, East St Kilda.

We believe that the house can accommodate more than the current designation of 10 people per activity. We believe that use by local interest groups, both religious and secular, is in keeping both with the principles of neighbourhood houses, and with the Victorian Human Rights Charter which ensures freedom of religious practise.

We urge the Council to consider the needs of everyone in the community, and allow the current range of activities to continue and flourish.

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