Statement on former Eltham Shire Office site
Eltham Labor Vicki Ward MP has slammed Nillumbik Council’s approach to the potential sale of and the former Eltham Shire Office site.
Through real estate agent Knight Frank Nillumbik Council has sought expressions of developer interest for 1 hectare of land located at 895 and 903 Main Road Eltham.
“I have strong concerns regarding the potential sale of these properties”, Ms Ward said. “I have lived here for nearly 45 years and have seen a great deal of change - I know how important it is to keep connection to our history”.
“We are not a new suburb, we are an old suburb, with a long history, especially indigenous history, with local eel traps in Eltham South and scar trees.” said Ms Ward.
“I am surprised that developers would be asked to put forward suggestions as to what they would do with the site, without Council waiting for their own review to be complete”, Ms Ward said.
“We cannot remove - erase - the history of our local women and families.”
“There are mothers who remember queuing up outside Eltham Pre School in the early hours of the morning 50 years ago to ensure her child a place at the kinder. These women still live in Eltham.
“Having a sense of place and history is important, especially to the people of Eltham”, said Ms Ward.
Statement by Member for Eltham Vicki Ward MP in relation to Nillumbik Shire Council’s proposed sale of the old Eltham Shire Office site
“I am frustrated at Nillumbik Council’s approach to selling this land. Council processes should start with the community, not with big developers.”
“We saw with Council’s community reserve sales an approach which was out of step with community values. Thankfully, Council eventually agreed with the community and changed course. I can’t believe that Council is making us fight to protect our community again.”=
“The Liberal Mayor should have learnt by now that Eltham is not for sale. If he needs the lesson again, our community will teach him.”
“I encourage people to come into my office and sign the petition opposing this plan.”
Women of Eltham and surrounding townships helped to build the Eltham Preschool, Eltham Memorial Hall, and Eltham Senior Citizens Hall after the Second World War. They recognised the hardship faced by women how had to hold their community and families together while their husbands, brothers, fathers, fought in WWII.
Nillumbik Council is also undergoing a review of a precinct plan and is seeking community input which includes these two sites.