Burra family cops the lot

KORUMBURRA’S Cleveland family will struggle to settle down in their newly purchased home while it remains an option for the Korumburra Community Hub site.

Chris and Julie Cleveland voluntarily sold their former home, which was located on the proposed site of the new IGA supermarket site on King Street, to avoid the stress of being kicked out.

Buying the house beside their business premises – Burra Electrical Services –  in Victoria Street seemed like the best idea.

That was until two weeks ago, when they were informed by South Gippsland Shire Council that their new home and business shed was one of three options for the site of the Korumburra Community Hub.

Mr and Mrs Cleveland are parents to four children, Phoebe, Tiegan, Zoe and Richard, aged between three and 10.

“Obviously the kids don’t like to move. We’ve just convinced them that moving here is good and they’ve just warmed to the idea of it,” Mr Cleveland said.

The family is now delaying renovations until council determines the hub site.

“We’ve already spent money on painting the house, putting in a new floor covering and a new fence, which council has paid half of because we were half way through it when they told us,” Mr Cleveland said.

“We’re just trying to make a family home and this isn’t helping.”

Burra Electrical Services employs 10 local fulltime staff here and as a corporate contractor, 80 percent of the business’ income comes from outside the shire and spent locally.

Their business has serviced Korumburra and broader Victoria for eight years.

“It’ll be a loss to the community and the disbursement revenue throughout Korumburra and the suppliers we use here,” Mr Cleveland said.

“A lot of the businesses along Commercial Street use our shed for storage some of the time.”

The Clevelands will fight council at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

“The loss of local jobs, either in part or all, may be the result of an eventual failed VCAT appeal and the business would have to close down and start again,” Mr Cleveland said.

“We would relocate outside of South Gippsland Shire closer to Melbourne.”

Mr Cleveland said the site was too small, steep and expensive to build the hub, with no capacity to increase car parking. He said the services to be provided by the hub would outgrow the site in a few years.

“It would then have to be again relocated, as was the case with the kindergarten,” he said.

“The railway station precinct is the only site that has a potential strategic long term plan for Korumburra.

“We feel the rushing of this community hub site decision is not taking the best site (railway precinct) because negotiations with VicTrack are going much slower than anticipated and the shire’s impatience may exclude this option and to the detriment of Korumburra in the longer term.”

Korumburra Business Association president Noelene Cosson said, “We are extremely sympathetic to the businesses and people that own property that are affected by the options put forward and understand that it is a difficult situation for them waiting on the outcome.

“We are encouraging people to get involved and put forward their thoughts and preferred option to the shire.

“Personally my option would be to utilise the railway land to assist in the development this available area in the centre of town and to enhance what is proposed for the Railway Station redevelopment.”

A council spokesperson said option one was chosen because the site was identified in the planning scheme’s policy for Korumburra as the preferred hub site.

“Additionally, the preferred site already includes the Clevelands’ land in the hub identified area. The former kinder site is Crown Land (not council land) and the hub could be built on the land subject to a change in the reserve status, which is a procedural matter,” the council spokesperson said.

“The hub could be built on the option one land, however council acknowledges this site has slope and access issues that make development more challenging and costly.

“Regarding support for the Clevelands, should council choose option one, we note that based on recent past experience when council acquired two dwellings to build the Karmai Children’s Centre, we sought to work with the affected landowners to minimise the disruption to their living arrangements.”

The council spokesperson said council was seeking to minimise uncertainty for the Clevelands by making a decision on a preferred site quickly.

Email written submissions to council at kvitalise@southgippsand.vic.gov.au.

Submissions close November 24.

Local workers: from left, Burra Electrical Services employees Leanna Reiff, Brendan Farrelly, Scott McIntosh, Rob Nelson, Matt Perks, owner Julie Cleveland, David Rasmus, owner Chris Cleveland and Alex McNair are feeling extremely anxious knowing their work site is one of South Gippsland Shire Council’s options for the Korumburra Community Hub site.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=23302

Posted by on Nov 21 2017. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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