A MOSQUE will be built in Clayton’s Beddoe Avenue after Monash University received the nod at last night’s Monash council meeting to proceed with plans to upgrade its existing prayer room.
The approval was followed by a loud expletive from a member of the crowd, who stormed out of the chamber when refused the opportunity to address the council.
In an at-times fiery debate that lasted almost an hour, the council approved the plans for the mosque and moved to extend its opening time from 7.30am to 5.30am so that Muslims could take part in morning prayers.
Cr Robert Davies was twice rebuked for speaking out of turn and was involved in heated exchanges with the mayor, Micaela Drieberg. Cr Davies was the only councillor to oppose the mosque.
In his comments to the council, Cr Geoff Lake called on his colleagues to consider planning laws but also the Victorian Charter of Human Rights. ‘‘I think it’s required that we have a level of respect and cultural understanding.’’
‘‘For a mosque to be functional and fit for purpose, it must be able to receive prayer in the morning period,’’ said Cr Lake, who moved the motion. ‘‘I’m convinced there will be negligible or no impact on residents.’’
Residents in Beddoe Avenue, where the mosque will be located, are worried about traffic congestion and increased noise from calls to prayer five times a day.
But representatives from the mosque said the call to prayer would only occur inside the mosque and parking would be provided on the university grounds where the entrance to the building will be.