House debates

Thursday, 18 March 2021

Constituency Statements

St Kilda

10:30 am

Photo of Josh BurnsJosh Burns (Macnamara, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I want to take this opportunity to talk about the revitalisation of one of the hearts of my electorate, St Kilda. St Kilda is an iconic part of Melbourne. We all love St Kilda—Luna Park and Acland Street, where my office is located. It's a place of tourist destinations. It's a place of activity and vibrancy, especially during summer. I couldn't be prouder to represent that area. But there's no doubt that, over recent times, St Kilda has had it pretty rough. A lot of the small businesses, the retailers, have had to deal with rising rental costs, lower patronage numbers and, of course, the pandemic. St Kilda has really taken a big hit. But I'm pleased to say that there is activity and that there are huge changes and huge efforts being made to revitalise St Kilda.

Nothing encapsulates St Kilda quite like Fitzroy Street. Fitzroy Street is the home of night-life in Melbourne. It has some great places, like the Prince of Wales and the George, and great restaurants, like Cafe Di Stasio. Unfortunately, it's also been synonymous with people who are a bit dislocated, people who have been sleeping rough, and people who are facing poverty and social isolation. But that's changing.

One of the big things that has happened on Fitzroy Street is the development of the St Kilda Pride Centre, the home of the LGBTQI community. It is a magnificent building that will stand extremely tall in the heart of St Kilda. One of the other things that's happening on Fitzroy Street is a project called Renew Fitzroy Street. A company has come in and taken over the leases of a number of St Kilda properties and brought in some creative businesses, some new start-up businesses. I was so pleased to go and visit them. I bought some goat's milk cheese. I bought some hanging plants as well. They are a fabulous collection of small businesses—

Honourable Member:

An honourable member interjecting

Photo of Josh BurnsJosh Burns (Macnamara, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I'll take the interjection. They were kosher. But they were just wonderful. I would encourage everyone to head down to Fitzroy Street and go and check out the Renew Fitzroy Street exhibition.

The other thing that's happening in St Kilda, which many people in this house would be familiar with, is the gallery of Mirka Mora work. Mirka Mora is iconically St Kilda. She came to this country, after escaping from France. Her family escaped Nazi Germany, or escaped from Europe, and she came to Australia. She would wander around St Kilda, bringing vibrancy and life. Her works are displayed in St Kilda, but at the Jewish Museum there is a special exhibition, which is just breathtaking. I would encourage everyone to go and check it out. Go and see the MIRKA exhibition at the Jewish Museum and come and enjoy everything that St Kilda has to offer.