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Parliamentary Decision on Disposal of Previous OCS PORTSEA Environment

The saga continues! The future of our hallowed ground is still being debated:

The following information was taken direct from the Ministerial Media list Wed 9 Apr 2003 - for information to all previous OCS Portsea members.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence Media Mail List

Wednesday 9 April 2003


With less than a week to go until the Commonwealth's offer on Point
Nepean expires, the Bracks Government has gone silent on Point Nepean,
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence, Fran Bailey said

"Whilst the Bracks Government has made much of the Point Nepean issue in
the media, including Minister Thwaites apparent rejection of the
Commonwealth's offer just twenty minutes after my announcement on 12
March 2003, there has been no official response to any element of the
Commonwealth's offer," Ms Bailey said.

"This includes no response from the State Government on the 205
hectares, fully cleared by the Commonwealth of unexploded ordnance (UXO)
that the Commonwealth is prepared to gift to the State.

"Premier Bracks' silence on the Commonwealth's Point Nepean offer makes
a mockery of his election promise:

Journalist: If all else fails would you buy the Defence land at
Point Nepean to ensure it remains a national park?
Bracks: We're actually very prepared and ready to do that very thing but
we want the owner to clean it up properly.

ABC TV, Leaders Debate, 8 November 2002

"In addition to paying for UXO clearance on the 205 hectares the
Commonwealth has committed $4 million to restore historic buildings on
the 90 hectare site.

"Arguments from the Premier and Minister Thwaites that the Commonwealth
should simply give them the entire Point Nepean site are hypocritical
given that the State Government recently demanded more than $2 million
from the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council for a portion of the former
Mornington High School site and the fact that the Commonwealth purchased
Point Nepean from the State Government in the 1930s.

"The Commonwealth has bent over backwards to provide every assistance to
the State Government including facilitating due diligence documentation.

"There are no excuses left. It's time the Bracks Government honoured
its election commitment to the people of Victoria," Ms Bailey said.

The Commonwealth's decision regarding the disposal of Point Nepean was
made on 12 March 2003 based on the findings of the Draft Master Plan by
Parsons Brinckerhoff and following extensive community consultation.

The key elements of this decision include:

* Gifting over 65% or 205 hectares of Point Nepean to the Victorian
Government, with the Commonwealth paying for the clearance of unexploded
* Deed in perpetuity of 20 hectares of land at Police Point to the
Mornington Peninsula Council - opening up this land to the community for
public use for the first time;
* Giving the Victorian Government one month to take up the offer of a
priority sale of the remaining 90 hectares;
* Committing $4 million dollars to the refurbishment of heritage
buildings on the remaining 90 hectares; and
* Prohibiting any sub-division for residential development.

"There are still two questions that the Premier must answer," Ms Bailey

"Does he accept the 205 hectares and will he honour his election
commitment to the people of Victoria and purchase the 90 hectares?"

Media contact:
Devena Wahlstrom
(02) 6277 4433 or 0408 404 468

Media Release from Ms Fran Bailey - Parliamentary Secretary to the
Minister for Defence Page 2


The Hon. Fran Bailey, MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence

[Thanks - again - to Richard McDonagh (Jun '85) for the notification]