Brimbank urges State Government: stop sale of Calder Rise school site


Brimbank City Council is calling once again on the State Government to stop the sale of the former Calder Rise Primary School site.

Mayor of Brimbank, Cr Margaret Giudice said in light of the recent release of the independent VAGO report, Managing Surplus Government Land, Council is calling for the former school site to be removed from sale so a thorough assessment can be completed in accordance with new Victorian Government Land Use Policy and Guidelines.

“We believe the State Government needs to do the responsible and right thing and remove this site from the list of potential sales so that a thorough assessment in accordance with the new state guidelines can be undertaken.

“We’re confident an assessment will show this land should be used to meet community needs.

“We’ll be writing to the Premier, Local Members, and the Department of Treasury and Finance as a matter of urgency, with our request,” the Mayor said.

The ‘Managing Surplus Government Land’ report released on 8 March 2018 included significant findings into a lack of social and intergenerational analysis in relation to the sale of surplus land.

It also found systems and processes in place within the State Government do not support a strategic whole-of-government approach to making the best use of surplus government land.

The Victorian Government Land Use Policy and Guidelines have been developed as a direct result of the report findings.

“While I’m unsure as to whether local MP Ben Carroll had read the VAGO report prior to his comments in the local media last week, we believe this report clearly illustrates the most responsible thing to do for the community is to halt the sale process.

“Let’s make sure that a proper assessment in accordance with the new guidelines is undertaken.

“We’re here to work collaboratively to get the best outcome for the entire Brimbank community, and I can say without hesitation, the best outcome for this community is certainly not for Council to make an offer to buy this land at ratepayers’ expense.

“In this environment of rate capping, rising utility and service costs, and with a high need community like we have in Brimbank, the State Government should not expect us to further burden our rate payers – who have already paid for this land as taxpayers.

“The State Government has generated $928 million in revenue over the past 10 years from surplus land sales - however many of us are left wondering where this money has been reinvested,” the Mayor said.

A Community Needs Assessment undertaken by Council has shown that more active recreation services and facilities are needed in the local Keilor area for sports such as cricket, football, netball, soccer and tennis. The demand is largely the result of growing participation in junior and women’s sport.

“We’re reminding the State Government to put the needs of the Brimbank community ahead of the dollar and keep this site in public hands for the benefit of our community into the future.

“This is an opportunity for the State Government to consider the needs of our community now and into the future; to consider the systemic disadvantage that continues to impact on our community’s health and wellbeing; and to invest in breaking the cycle to help get Brimbank on track to better health,” the Mayor said.

Council will also look at addressing unmet sporting needs identified in the Community Needs Assessment at nearby Green Gully Reserve as part of the Sports Facility Development Plan review and subsequent Annual Budget process.