Brimbank,
03
May
2017
|
02:19
Australia/Melbourne

State Government urged to hold off on rezoning and sale of former Calder Rise School site

Summary

Brimbank City Council is once more urgently asking the State Government to hold off on any plan to rezone and sell off the former Calder Rise Primary School site in Keilor.

Brimbank City Council is once more urgently asking the State Government to hold off on any plan to rezone and sell off the former Calder Rise Primary School site in Keilor.

Brimbank Mayor Cr John Hedditch said that Council is writing again to the State Government to ask it as a matter of urgency to reconsider its rezoning and sale of the Keilor site.

“Despite our previous advocacy regarding all five former Brimbank school sites, the State Government is progressing with the rezoning of the former Calder Rise Primary School site at Green Gully Road Keilor, from a Public Use Education to a Neighbourhood Residential Zone, prior to selling the site.

“We’re urging the State Government to rethink their current plans - a sale of this site is absolutely against the best interests of Brimbank.

“We have made the point again and again – that the former school sites that the State Government is proposing to dispose of are not surplus. With a growing population, these sites are critical for the Brimbank community’s welfare. We need this land for Brimbank’s future.

“The report released yesterday by Victoria University and the story in The Age newspaper today, ‘Do you live in Victoria’s fittest postcode’ underlines what we have been saying to State Government all along, that unfortunately, the Brimbank community is less active and less healthy than the Melbourne average – and we need some help from State Government in turning this around.

“Our community is tired of bearing the brunt of poorly considered policy – you just have to look at the amount of money that gets tipped into the State coffers from problem gambling.

“Brimbank has the highest electronic gaming machine losses of any Local Government Area in Victoria.

“In 2015-2016, more than $143 million was lost on electronic gaming machines in Brimbank – that’s $905 for every adult in Brimbank. Around 44 per cent or more than $63 million of these huge losses went straight to the Victorian Government Treasury.

“Brimbank has had enough, and it’s time for the Victorian treasury to give back, not take!

“Lands like these former school sites could be used to create an environment that addresses the issues our community face – of being less active, less healthy and battling higher levels of obesity and diabetes than the Melbourne average.

“These former school sites could make a big difference to our community, if they were used for either education purposes – or for sport and active recreation, to support our community to get healthier.

“We have a crying need for sport facilities in Brimbank. We have sporting groups crying out for more facilities so that they can get more people into sport.

“Brimbank is also seeing a recent boom in female sports participation, on the back of the recent AFL Women's Competition. This has led to increasing demand for facilities. We have sports clubs in Keilor and Taylors Lakes that are desperate for sports facilities suitable for female sport. And the sad fact is that we just don’t have sufficient sports facilities to support this.

“Recent research shows that for seven association sports in Victoria, Brimbank has only 3.1 facilities per 10,000 persons compared to 5.7 facilities per 10,000 persons for Melbourne.

“We know we have a big gap in facilities, and Council is working hard to develop sports facilities for the community and improve community health. But we need support from other levels of government and the private and philanthropic sectors to turn around this disadvantage.

“This is why we have been asking that the former school sites in Brimbank be retained for community use and not sold off for development.

“We’re asking the State Government to put a hold on disposing of these sites, and to sit down and discuss with us how the sites could be used for the betterment of the people who live in Brimbank,” Cr Hedditch said.