Members of Quang Minh Temple hope a $9 million redevelopment of the Braybrook complex will transform the site into a community hub and tourist attraction.
Last week, at a Maribyrnong Council meeting, temple members detailed the redevelopment on the banks of the Maribyrnong River.The council heard the temple operations will be separated from a new 1200-square-metre community centre.
This centre will incorporate a library, museum-gallery, interview-counselling facilities, a commercial kitchen and social welfare services.
Religious leader Venerable Thich Phuoc Tan said the aim was to create a place of community harmony. "It will be more than a place of worship."
He said he expected education, employment, health and leisure services to be available on the site, which will be environmentally sustainable, and he asked the council to consider co-locating some of its activities.
The temple site is on the border of Maribyrnong and Brimbank municipalities, where Vietnamese is the most common language spoken after English..
Stony Creek Ward councillor Sel Sanli said it may be feasible for the council to create a contact point at the site by employing a Vietnamese-speaking officer to work from there, "so making the council go to the community, rather than waiting for residents to come into the council [offices]".
An average of 1500 people visit Quang Minh every week.
Cr Sanli said he enjoyed visiting, as the temple had a friendly, welcoming atmosphere.
"I see it not just as a significant Braybrook site, or even just a significant western suburbs site, but a real model for the whole nation as people of all those nationalities, cultures and religions get together [at Quang Minh] in peace and harmony."
Western Melbourne Tourism executive director Damien Ryan said religious sites of significance often attracted interstate and international visitors.
"Western Melbourne Tourism would be happy to work with any religious facility or group to ensure visitors to the region are aware of the sites they can visit for general interest or to attend services."
Last Updated on Thursday, 12 August 2010 20:48