Action urged over shelved school

File photo. 216014_01

By Alesha Capone

Tarneit MP Sarah Connolly has called for the state government to take action after the Victoria Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) gave the green light for residential development on a Truganina site earmarked for a school.

Last year, VCAT gave ID_Land permission to divide the Woods Road site, located in the Elements estate, into 227 residential lots

The land had previously been set aside for a future non-government school under the Truganina Precinct Structure Plan.

ID_Land took the matter to VCAT after the Catholic Education Office pulled out of an agreement to build a school there.

Ms Connolly raised the issue in Parliament earlier this month.

She asked Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation Minister Melissa Horne to visit “let down and frustrated” residents to discuss the matter.

“Residents of Elements estate have expressed to me their extreme disappointment and frustration that the developer has decided to rezone the land that was previously set aside for a non-government school to be used for housing,” Ms Connolly said.

“Many of these residents have mentioned to me about moving to the estate and buying a house on the premise that there would be a school in this estate.”

Ms Connolly also mentioned the matter to deputy premier and Education Minister James Merlino.

Ms Horne said she would meet with Elements residents in the next couple of weeks.

She said she would “also to try and get some evidence so that we can direct the director of Consumer Affairs Victoria to undertake a detailed investigation into this”.

In January, ID_Land released a statement saying they would develop the school site into residential lots “as a last resort only”.

“In order to still provide adequate opportunity for an education provider to acquire the land, ID_Land will commit to retaining 5.5 hectares of this site for the next 18-24 months at considerable expense, while we continue the ongoing search for a government or private education provider,” the statement said.

“Since the beginning of its extensive campaign in search for an education provider, ID_Land has approached almost 500 different potential school and education providers.

“During this campaign, we have continued to work with council and the state government in the hope that the government acquires the site for a government-run school.”