Brimbank Mayor Councillor John Hedditch has called on the State Government to work with Council to keep the former school site at Calder Rise publically owned.
“Council is writing to the State Government to request further discussions for retaining public ownership of the site including the transfer of ownership and or management to Council.
“We will also be requesting a meeting with the Premier and Treasurer to discuss reinvestment in education, health and wellbeing, sport and recreation and arts and culture infrastructure (e.g. Calder Rise) following the sale of other former school sites.
“The State Government has removed the land at 32A Green Gully Road Keilor, the former Calder Rise Primary School from public sale.
“We are hopeful this is a sign the State Government is listening to our message that Brimbank needs to overcome underinvestment in community infrastructure to bridge the disadvantage gap.
“We look forward to exploring options for how this land can be retained for public use.
“Council is open to all discussions and we sincerely hope that together with the State Government, we can work together to make good use of this land for the surrounding community.
“To get the ball moving we are initiating a due diligence report on the site to review potential community use options.
“We also need to consider our existing budget commitments, possible additional funding sources and the impact on Council’s long term financial position and current Capital Works Program.
“We will cast the net wide to see what partnership opportunities are available to deliver community infrastructure on the site for nearby families to take advantage of.
“It’s an exciting prospect that this important open space could stay in public hands and provide a home for much needed community infrastructure and services to our hardworking community.
“We believe that given this is public land, it belongs to our ratepayers – Victorian taxpayers that deserve a fair go and a fair share.
“Unfortunately the sale of the other four surplus school sites in Brimbank has gone ahead.
“This is disappointing and we will continue to lobby for proceeds of the sales to be reinvested into community assets for Brimbank.
“This Council will continue to call on state and federal government and the private and philanthropic sectors to help support initiatives to improve our community’s quality of life.
“This includes using the research from the Growing Brimbank initiative to help us address the entrenched intergenerational disadvantage holding back what is a dynamic, developing city.
“Growing Brimbank is a partnership with Council and the Australian Health Collaboration at Victoria University that delivers policy based research strategies to improve health and wellbeing outcomes.
“Council cannot do this work alone; we will continue to be a voice for our community and advocate for more investment in Brimbank,” Cr Hedditch said.