STATE MP Terry Mulder says he wants to see a “balanced outcome” for the former Colac High School site.
The Colac Herald revealed the Department of Education had written to the Colac Otway Shire Council to discuss a sale of the former school buildings and land, rather than donating it.
Mr Mulder, Member for Polwarth, says he understands the Colac community’s sense of ownership and the competing desire for the Department of Education to get a financial return on the Murray Street property.
Mr Mulder, who in opposition called for the former school site to become an emergency services precinct, said he would work with Education Minister Martin Dixon on a solution for the abandoned site.
“I understand the minister will want to get a return because he’s wanting to build new schools not only in my electorate but in the rest of the state,” Mr Mulder said.
“We’re looking to get a balanced outcome” he said.
“I’ll be having further discussions with the minster’s department about some of the proposals that have been put forward for the site.
“I believe that the letter that has been sent has basically said that the department is still willing to work with the council,” he said.
Mr Mulder said he wanted to see the Colac Woodturners and Woodcrafters Guild continue to use the former school’s woodworking room.
“From the very start I was lobbying on the behalf of the community to try and find a use for the site which would be of the best use for the community,” he said.
Mr Mulder said the condition of the buildings should also be part of the discussion about the future use of the site.
“The one thing to be mindful of, with some of the existing buildings, the fact they’re very old,” he said.
“In terms of the operation, the heating and everything you look at, they’re not modern, state-of-the-art buildings.”