MP leads call to keep old station

Old Sydenham railway station. Photo by Damjan Janevski. 233706_02

Tara Murray

Sydenham MP Natalie Hutchins is among local residents calling for the old Sydenham railway station to remain in Brimbank.

As reported by Star Weekly, the Mornington Railway Preservation Society has submitted an application to Brimbank council to move the building to its heritage tourist railway.

Ms Hutchins has started an online petition opposing the move.

She told Star Weekly the station is associated with Sydenham’s rich history and is one of the last remaining historical buildings.

Ms Hutchins said the community must do everything possible to stop the building being moved outside of the western suburbs.

“Local residents have expressed their frustration to me over the process that has taken place in regard to moving the old Sydenham station and stated their distress of losing an important community asset,“ she said.

“I share their disappointment and I am hopeful that the petition will generate support towards adequate community consultation.

“It has been encouraging to see the community support across the petition and community pages.

“Residents continue to share fond memories of the station from when they travelled to school as children or visited the site. These are the meaningful memories that we should continue to preserve and that are unique to the station’s namesake of Sydenham.”

Richard Carthew is another resident who is against the move.

Mr Carthew is part of the Brimbank Bicycle Education Centre, which previously expressed a desire to have the building relocated to the centre so volunteers and local VCAL students could restore it.

“I was aghast when I heard the news,” he said. “Diggers from both wars used that station.

“Other community groups have been interested in looking at it and we are being bypassed for someone 140 kilometres away to come and take it.

“That history will be forgotten.“

Mr Carthew is calling for community consultation on the issue.

“I think it is up to the community to come up with ideas,” he said. “I doubt many residents want it moved.“

Mr Carthew said the building could possibly be moved to Sydenham Park instead.

Brimbank city development director Kelvin Walsh confirmed the council had received a planning permit application to relocate the station.

He said the application was likely to be determined at an upcoming council meeting.