School site to be sold at auction

Ben Carroll MP at The Calder Rise Primary school site. Pic Marco De Luca

By Tate Papworth

The site of the former Calder Rise Primary School will go under the hammer tomorrow, bringing an end to a lengthy battle to keep the land in public hands.

The Brimbank council and state government have been at loggerheads as to who should pay for the land.

In March, the council knocked back the opportunity to buy the site after a due diligence report determined it should not make an offer.

At the time, now mayor Cr Lucinda Congreve said the financial burden of purchasing the land could not be justified.

“The majority of Keilor residents want this to happen, but the majority of ratepayers in Brimbank, seeing us spend $10 million on an oval that’s not even AFL size, will probably wonder what we’re doing,” she said.

A motion put forward by Cr Virginia Tachos for the council to buy the property was supported by fellow councillors John Hedditch, Daniel Allan, Duyen Anh Pham and Kim Thien Truong but was defeated.

Member for Niddrie Ben Carroll has repeatedly called on the council to buy the land. Last week he said the private sale was a disappointing outcome.

“I tried very hard to make this a reality and offered it to the council on four different occasions,” Mr Carroll said.

“We’d done a lot of work with the Keilor Football Club around the possibility of making it a hub for female football.”

The auction will be held tomorrow, Wednesday May 8, at 32a Green Gully Road, Keilor from noon. While no official price has been put on the two-hectare property, industry speculation says it could fetch as much as $8 million.