Moreland Council rezones residential land as parkland for residents, but they have to pay dearly to get the land back off the development-mad state government. Still this is something that local councils should all be doing and they should collectively be placing pressure on the State Government to sell the land at non-market prices, or gift it. For some time the requirement that developers set aside parkland for each development has been commuted to paying into a fund so that council can reissue land as parkland more cheaply. Who knows where this money goes?
Cr. John Kavanagh of North West Ward, Moreland, writes that he is "thrilled to inform you that we have successful in purchasing the entire parcel of Outlook Drive land!!!"
"The section of the land that is currently zoned residential will be rezoned so that this land will be open space for ever!" He writes that he "called a Special Council Meeting last week where we resolved to increase our offer – this land has not come cheap!"
"I know that ‘success has many fathers and failure is an orphan’ and so many will claim success in this. I tell you as clearly as I can that the success is because of the efforts of [...] elected Councillors, our CEO (Nerina Di Lorenzo), Kelvin Thomson, Kaye Oddie, Peter Khalil and you the community more generally."
Wrong for State Government to gouge local ratepayers for this land
"As thrilled as I am," he writes, "I still think it is wrong that such a large sum of ratepayers money had to be used to buy land from another level of government. This has not been gifted in any way."
"Today was an important day as the Victorian Government went into ‘caretaker’ mode at 6 p.m. so this had to be completed prior to that or it would have waited till after the election. Council made it clear that if the deal was not done today it would be a key election issue."