September 21, 2019
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Bilingual signage will now be implemented on Lonsdale Street to give tourists and locals alike an indisputable sign that they’re entering the historic Greek precinct.Neos Kosmos can reveal the Andrews government is currently working on drafting policy to see the Greek precinct and a number of other culturally significant areas in Victoria introduce bilingual signage.A spokesperson for Premier Daniel Andrews says the idea is something the government is “very keen to see done” and has it “in the pipeline”.“We absolutely support bilingual signage in the Greek precinct, but we’re working towards something more broad where we can see that rolled out in other precincts around Victoria,” the spokesperson said. The government is currently working on costings and briefing city councils on the measure before it announces the policy to the public.The idea was championed by opposition leader Matthew Guy, who was impressed by the integration of bilingual signage in Montreal, Canada.He felt the idea would work well with Melbourne’s multicultural dynamic and believes it sends a clear message of the heritage of the area to visitors.“I think if you have bilingual signs throughout, it actually tells anyone walking through that area that this is the Greek precinct,” he tells Neos Kosmos. Mr Guy would like to see the signage include shop fronts and street signs to really give a Greek flavour to Lonsdale Street.He feels that other precincts enjoy more recognition thanks to their impressive signage and presence.“When you look at Little Bourke Street and Chinatown, it’s very well defined, they know what Chinatown is when they’re down there,” he admits.“The Greek precinct, because it’s on Lonsdale Street and on bigger roads, it’s not too defined and I think signage around the precinct will help massively. “It will certainly have a great impact on that whole area.”While many might argue that the Greek precinct has failed to keep Greek Australian crowds, Mr Guy believes that bilingual signage could benefit other Greek areas of Melbourne. He will be voicing the idea in the suburb of Oakleigh, hoping to convince Monash Mayor Paul Klisaris in the next couple of weeks when he attends a Greek festival there.“My view is that Oakleigh is a special place for Greeks in Melbourne, so if we can make it work it will be great to see it in Oakleigh.”No word has been given yet on when the state government will announce or implement the initiative.