“RARELY do we hear from our towns on the outskirts of our Shire,” said Mayor Ray Argento. On the occasions that we do we need to stop and listen.”
At the Ordinary Meeting held in Council Chambers, Leongatha on Wednesday May 24, all Councillors present voted unanimously not to sell off land in Welshpool.
“I am particularly impressed with the Welshpool community,” Cr Rich said. They have got together to make this happen. The land does not have commercial value to anybody else except their community.”
The previous Shire council had said that no residential building permit would be issued because the land is subject to flooding in heavy downpours.
Mayor Argento and Cr Rich attended the community meeting, which was previously held in Welshpool. There were over 20 likeminded community citizens present who all believed there was a role for this piece of land in their community.
“This land is a great fit for the community of Welshpool and district advisory group who have agreed to put their hand up,” the Mayor said. They don’t want to be a burden on the ratepayers. They have been looking after this land for many years. They are aware of the costs that may be associated with it like public liability and all that.”
Cr Brunt made the comment that the community will have to show they’re prepared to do the work as in her opinion communities can often be very eager for these projects then community support can wane over time.
Eddie Fowler, who locals refer to as the unofficial Mayor of Welshpool, said that it is a great outcome for the Community. “It’s just going to be a challenge for us to rise up and make sure we do the right thing,” he said.
He is looking forward to receiving the paperwork from the Shire so he can see exactly what has been decided.
What he can expect to receive is below in the minutes of Ordinary meeting.
The Shire will write to the Welshpool and district advisory group confirming the following:
That council’s sustainable communities department works with them to further develop their proposal for use of the land which, will include:
- Providing assistance with the proposed use for the land and identifying any funding or grant opportunities.
- Negotiating a tenure agreement between council and the Welshpool and district advisory group to manage the land in an environmentally responsible manner and includes responsibility for all costs associated with the use to be paid by the Welshpool and district advisory group.
- Proceed to sell the land if the tenure arrangement proposal is not finalised by 31 December 2017.