No longer reserved

No longer reserved

A cohort of residents living off Myer Street believe they have been blindsided by an East Gippsland Shire decision to tender for a land sale on a property they use for recreation purposes.

The land - 21 Hardie Street - previously comprised of two parcels of land on separate titles. One title was formerly a reserve for recreation purposes, which was created by subdivision in 1982 and vested in the former Shire of Tambo in 1984.

The remaining parcel was transferred to the former Shire of Tambo in 1988.

This parcel of land is approximately 1500 square metres in area and was effectively landlocked by the adjoining reserve.

Consolidation into one property and the revocation of the reserve status was completed in July 2005.

Bronsdon Street (which adjoins Hardie Street) resident, Karen Renwick, says nearby residents use the land for recreation, including playing with pets, children playing sports and more.
Ms Renwick said she purchased the property believing the land would not be sold and that she could then access her property via the back fence, which is used as an entry to house a caravan and boat. She said other properties also had gates on their back fences.

“A lot of us have brought our properties on Bronsdon Street, Grandview Parade, Hardie Street, O’Neills Road and Periwinkle Drive and the real estate agents have told us that there is a recreation reserve adjoining,” Ms Renwick said.

“We use it for running our dogs, kids playing, kicking footballs, you name it.

“A month ago a sign has been put up saying it’s going to be put out to tender.”

Ms Renwick started a petition which has been signed by more than 40 nearby residents who are against the sale of the land, the vast majority pointing to their belief it was a reserve and that they and their families use it for recreational activities. Other residents said without this reserve, the nearest one is too far away and would then mean children would be playing on the streets.

“Ivan Bubb said he was shocked because his father (Ray) sold part of that property to council back in the late 1970s on the condition, on the understanding, it would remain a recreation reserve,” Ms Renwick said.

“Next thing we knew it was up for sale.”

Ivan contacted council and asked to go through the archives to find out when his father sold the property.

He received a response from council general manager business excellence, Peter Cannizzaro on June 29, stating: “East Gippsland Shire Council identified this property along with six other properties as not being designated for municipal or strategic purposes. Council resolved to sell the properties at its special council meeting in February 18, 2020, which was advertised on the shire’s notice board in the Bairnsdale Advertiser on February 7, 2020, February 14, 2020 and on council’s website.”

The properties were also advertised in the public notices of the Bairnsdale Advertiser on March 4 and March 6, advising that members of the public had the opportunity to make a submission regarding the sale of the property.

“In 2001, council identified the land for consolidation and the reserve status removed to create a saleable property. The removal of the reserve status and consolidation was completed in 2005,” Mr Cannizzaro said in a statement to the Lakes Post.

“Council has received some community concerns about the sale of land and council is considering these.”

Ms Renwick claims adjoining residents weren’t personally notified about the sale of land.

“The real estate agency showed me the plan of conciliation, and under the title of land it says ‘recreation reserve’,” she said.

“On April 18, 2004, it was ticked off to be put as a residential lot. Nobody had any idea that it was going to be underhanded, they’ve sneakily done that.

 “The adjoining properties should have had notice, we had nothing.

“We bought the house on the belief  it was never going to be developed. If we had have known it was going to be developed, we wouldn’t have bought it.”

IMAGE: Karen Renwick, Ivan Bubb and Gary Plumey, who have properties adjoining a vacant piece of land on Hardie Street, say they have been blindsided by an East Gippsland Shire decision to sell the land for residential purposes.