School sale put on ice


School sale put on ice

Ready to roll: PBE Inverloch Real Estate agent Michael Wrigley is ready to sell the former Dumbalk Primary School site. He was showing potential buyers through when The Star caught up with him last Thursday. Now the sale has been put on hold.

DEPUTY Premier Peter Ryan has halted the auction of the former Dumbalk Primary School site, with state government officials seemingly unaware of the decision.
While the Friday, April 27 auction of the former school was advertised in this paper last Wednesday (April 11), and already generating interest amongst potential buyers, by Thursday it had been – so a tip-off revealed – put on ice. But Mr Ryan said the decision had been made earlier than that: soon after the signage went up around Wednesday, April 4.
Members of the Dumbalk and District Progress Association have been campaigning to have the school site maintained as a community asset.
“The school has been taken off the market. The former school site is a state asset and therefore it’s a matter of how the state deals with it now that is not a functioning school,” Mr Ryan said last Thursday.
“There is a process whereby the site is offered to local government, but local government has indicated in this instance that it does not want to acquire it. I want the community to have a say as to how they would like to see it used.
“I therefore arranged that the property was withdrawn from the next process, where it goes on the public market for sale. I want the input and ideas from the Dumbalk community as to how they think the property should best be used.”
Mr Ryan said there was “confusion over arrangements, which led to some signage being put up”.
“After the signs went up it came to my attention that they had been erected. The property was then withdrawn from sale,” he said.
But later on the same day a Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) spokesman contradicted Mr Ryan.
“The Tarwin Valley Primary School (Dumbalk campus) site closed in 2008. The site has been declared surplus to the Department’s needs and is being put up for sale,” he said.
“Government requirements state that the Department must first offer the property to other government departments, then to the local council. If the property is not sold in this process, it will be offered for sale to the public, as is the case with this site.
“Funds from selling former school sites are returned to the Department’s central infrastructure program and are reinvested in other educational facilities, including the acquisition of new school sites.”
Prior to hearing of the postponement selling agent Michael Wrigley, from PBE Real Estate Inverloch, was upbeat and said the property would be sold. He was showing people from Melbourne through last Thursday when The Star met up with him.
The school’s sale was advertised online, in local newspapers and in The Age, he said. Mr Wrigley had not been told of any potential problems with the auction – until a phone call came from a DEECD official late on Friday.
“It has been postponed to a date that is yet to be determined. I got the call about 4pm. From my point of view it’s just been postponed under directions from the Department,” he said.
Mr Wrigley was ready to take people through the school site again on Sunday.
“I’m just more concerned about the people from Melbourne who will come up. People will spend their Sunday heading up to look at a potential purchase. I’ll just have to deal with that,” he said.

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Posted by on Apr 19 2012. Filed under Featured, 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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