Tuesday 12th June 2018
Australia’s Federal Minister for Social Services Dan Tehan MP has been asked by the Leader of The Nationals and Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh MP to step in and expedite the sale of Random House in Rochester.
Mr Walsh said he had been on bureaucratic red tape trail for more than two years fighting to save the historic homestead .
“It was purchased by the Victorian Department of Human Services in May 2008 and sadly has been allowed to go to rack and ruin.
“It’s really sad to see the continuing deterioration of this historic homestead and garden which was built in 1860 and has a National Heritage Listing” Mr Walsh said.
“In March 2018 I made a written appeal to the Victorian Minister to put the property up for sale and allow someone to return it to its former glory.
“The community’s heart was gladdened soon after when the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services confirmed that negotiations had begun to allow the sale of the property.
“However in April 2018 the Victorian Minister Jenny Mikakos MP advised me that the property was originally purchased by the Commonwealth for the State of Victoria under a Capital Works Deed and that her department had written to the Commonwealth Government regarding options for selling the property.
“We are now into June and I don’t see or hear of anything happening” Mr Walsh said.
“The only thing I hear is from local residents who are so fed up with watching the deterioration of a magnificent property which was and should still be the jewel in the crown for Rochester.
“I have now formally written to the Federal Minister on behalf of the Rochester community to ask that the Commonwealth expedite whatever action it needs to do to ensure the Victorian Government can offer this property for sale.
“It’s been a long and tedious process ‘“ but I have no intention of giving up until Random House is given the opportunity to be restored to its former glory.”