FRANKSTON mayor Kris Bolam has hit back at the ABC for publishing a story which read that a “lack of diversity” was a challenge in Frankston.
The ABC article cited statistics from the 2016 census which showed far fewer people spoke a non-English language in Frankston compared to nearby Cranbourne and Greater Dandenong areas. It also quoted local residents and business owners.
Frankston mayor Kris Bolam said “there has been some recent media suggesting that Frankston could be a more welcoming city for those from multicultural backgrounds.”
“I wanted to go on record as saying that Frankston City is and always will be a welcoming place for people from differing communities, faiths and cultural backgrounds, and as a council we are always looking to identify new ways to enhance cultural diversity and connection in our city,” he said.
“For those of us who choose to call Frankston City home, we have a lot to be proud of. For some, that might be that interfaith events at the Bait-ul-Salam Mosque, located in Langwarrin. As recently as this past weekend we welcomed more than 100 members of the Muslim community to this beautiful place of worship where various faith leaders spoke passionately about caring for each other and accepting the cultural differences that make us all unique. It was a great honour to have been invited to attend and speak on behalf of council. “
The Committee for Greater Frankston is quoted in the article, which focuses on Frankston’s location at the end of the train line. A statement from the lobby group read “while the Committee for Greater Frankston appreciates any media coverage of the inadequate public transport in our city – as well as the long-running call to extend the metro train line as part of the solution – the article’s focus on the lack of demographic diversity in Frankston was unbalanced.”
“This is a symptom of successive governments’ inadequate planning to increase the variety of housing options as well as insufficient investment in our region’s transport infrastructure. It is not the fault of Frankston residents,” it said.