Keep Aikido Shudokan Springvale Open
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The City of Greater Dandenong wants to close our dojo. The reasons they have not granted our permit are outlined below. We do not believe these reasons to be relevant or consistent (as outlined below).
Over our time in Springvale we feel we have gone above and beyond to benefit the community:
- Offered scholarships to underprivileged students who wish to train and better themselves through Aikido
- Worked with children with special needs, providing a safe and supportive environment where they can fully integrate into our classes and community, building confidence and social skills.
- Conducted self defence and personal safety workshops open to the community
- Offering concession prices to new arrivals in Australia, welcoming them into our community and helping them overcome language barriers with the help of our very multicultural student base.
Why is Aikido a benefit to the Community of Springvale:
We have been operating for over 5 years without any disruption to local business. In that time we have provided the community with a place to come together and learn the art of Aikido. The tight knit community we have created at our dojo is of huge positive impact to the community. We are a multi-cultural community with people of all backgrounds coming together to train and foster harmony. Aikido Shudokan has an exemplary reputation locally, nationally, and internationally.
We provide a place for children to learn social skills and confidence, develop self defence and bully prevention strategies and learn non-violent conflict resolution while being active and having fun.
Our teenagers learn how to be responsible and conscientious members of a community and develop leadership skills through their training with us. We promote an active healthy lifestyle and keep teens engaged and off the streets through our training and participation in our community. We have seen countless teen students develop into bright, responsible balanced individuals who will become positive additions to the wider community.
A safe space for adults of all backgrounds, race, gender, age and religion; the dojo provides a place for anyone to come and exercise, learn self defence, work on self improvement and grow as an individual, mind body and spirit. In a time when racism and cultural division is growing, our community is made up of a wide variety of people from many backgrounds, (including active members who are Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, Atheists, Queer people, and men and women of all ages) helping to bridge the cultural divide, foster harmony, respect and inclusion of all people.
We are requesting that the City of Greater Dandenong reverse their decision and allow us to continue to operate. To help us with this, we need your support in convincing them of the importance and impact of Aikido in people's lives and the positive impact the dojo has on the community.
C/O Greater Dandenong Council
To Whom it May Concern,
Below are the signatures of those individuals that have read and understood this open letter and petition. Furthermore, they offer their continued support and efforts for the satisfactory resolution of the matter at hand. The signatures are drawn from members, staff, and concerned parties.
As we understand it, the council's rejection of our permit for the continued running of Aikido Shudokan at 3/52 Smith Rd, Springvale is due to a combination of the three following reasons as per your communications;
1. That although the zoning laws allow for a recreational facility it is preferably used for offices, warehouses, retail usage, and associated businesses.
2. That the site is within a 300m threshold of a cement production facility that could cause health concerns.
3. That to allow Aikido Shudokan to operate means surrounding businesses will not be protected. That Aikido Shudokan will disrupt and discourage the operations of local businesses.
With regards to the last point, as classes only run after hours and on weekends there is no justifiable argument that it will disrupt the daily operations of any other business in the area.
We would like to have further conversation with the council with regards to the below points and we will be obtaining further information and documentation to assist us with this discussion. The rejection of our permit appears to be inconsistent with the following:
1. The issuing of a permit to a related indoor sports and recreation site at 2 Brough St, Springvale North. Situated 140m south of Aikido Shudokan. Meaning that it falls within the same 300m safety threshold.
2. The EPA requirements for the cement production facility itself to operate directly across the road from a residential zone on McWilliam street.
We sincerely hope for a positive resolution, with our permit being issued, so that no further action is required by either party. We as a group and organisation wish to work with the council and community and play our part in building our local area.
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