Tuesday 18th July 2017
Leader of The Nationals and Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh has described Random House in Rochester as a disgraceful mess and a mere shadow of its glorious past.
Mr Walsh said that he had been contacted by many Rochester residents who are concerned about the deteriorating condition of the homestead and angry about the messy state of its once beautifully manicured grounds.
“In the hands of the Andrews Government it has gone to wrack and ruin “ Mr Walsh said.
“The historic homestead was built in the 1860’s and has significant historical importance to country Victoria but particularly to Rochester and district “ he said.
Mr Walsh said he began pursuing the case for Random House with the Andrews Government more than 12 months ago
In Parliament on 16th August 2016 he asked whose responsibility the property was and what plan of action would be put in place to care for it in accordance with its heritage listing under the National Trust..
After month of backwards and forward between Ministers the Minister for Families & Children Jenny Mikakos finally confirmed on the 2nd June 2007 that the property is owned by the Department of Health and Human Services and all leasing and maintenance related activities are the responsibility of that department.
The Labor Minister also wrote that she shared our concerns about the disrepair of the property.
The Minister gave a written assurance that action has been taken to see that the homestead is appropriately maintained and that the responsible division within the department has been contacted and will oversee the required upkeep.
“After more than 12 frustrating months the Minister has finally accepted responsibility for Random House “ Mr Walsh said.
“Let’s now see if the Minister is as good as her word that she shares our concerns?
Action is needed urgently to bring this iconic homestead and gardens back to the condition they were in before they were allowed to deteriorate so badly by the department.”