Baw Baw Shire Council has moved in support of the Yarragon community, resolving at last night’s Council Meeting to acquire the former Yarragon Primary School site.
Council reached the decision having considered budgetary impacts, the overwhelming desire of the Yarragon community to retain the site in public ownership and the wider long-term benefits to the Shire.
Community consultation conducted in December 2017 to January 2018 revealed that 98 per cent of respondents (nearly 90 per cent of which were residents of Yarragon) supported Council investment to retain the site. Two further petitions calling for Council to retain the site for community use were tabled at a Council meeting on 25 September 2019, comprising 584 and 244 signatories respectively.
The 8,898m2 site at 3-5 Rollo Street in Yarragon comprises a mix of freehold and Crown Land.
While no specific use for the land has yet been determined, Council’s Community Hub Action Plan, adopted by Council on 10 July 2019, seeks to support a community-led activation of the site.
The final purchase price will be publicly released following a completed settlement with the Valuer General. A settlement is expected within 180 days.
As stated by Mayor Cr Mikaela Power
“The community has spoken and we’ve listened. The community has told us how important this site is to them. The Yarragon population is growing and there’s a clear need for free, open and welcoming space in this beautiful town. That’s what this decision delivers.”
As stated by East Ward Cr Michael Leaney
“Yarragon is a quality town however it has the smallest amount of parkland of any major town in the Shire. This site will provide good open space, beautiful mature trees and – importantly – in a location where it’s really needed. This is not only for the people of Yarragon, but for entire Baw Baw community and all the visitors that come to this area.”
As stated by East Ward Cr Peter Kostos
“Green open space is very important to Yarragon. This site will have same accessibility and usage by residents as those many green open spaces in the greater Melbourne area. A great result for the community and for the Shire as a whole.”
As stated by East Ward Cr Darren Wallace
“Purchase of this site lines up 100 per cent with the Baw Baw Shire Council Plan and helps to future proof the town for years to come. Yarragon deserves its own town park just like so many other communities in this Shire. A property like this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we owe it to the Yarragon community to see it retained in public ownership.”
Image: Roy Lindsay, Mayor Cr Mikaela Power and Michael Fozard at the site.