As you might already know, Council will sell the land at 71-77 Bromley Road via a public tender process.
There is no doubt this has been an emotive issue. There have been many concerns and ideas raised and opinions offered. Councillors must consider all of these points of view before making a decision, and have done so in this case.
Rest assured, no Councillor has taken this decision lightly.
We received 20 written submissions in favour of the proposal and 79 against it. We also received a petition against the proposal.
While these numbers are against the sale, having considered all the points of view, Councillors believe the benefits of such a sale are too good to ignore.
Selling this land will open up opportunities for investment in Robinvale, creating a new business and ultimately new confidence in the town’s commercial sector. For this reason, Councillors have imposed conditions of the sale that the land must be used for commercial purposes and development must take place within two years of the sale.
One strong argument that residents presented was that the land should be retained for public use.
We understand this sentiment. Open space and parkland are important to the amenity of every town. Councillors believe though, that there are significant areas of public land already in Robinvale. And there are opportunities to develop this land into user-friendly public spaces.
It is important to note that Council only purchased these Bromley Road blocks of land in 2013 and 2017. Prior to that, they were private properties. Council purchased them to improve the appearance of the town’s entry. Both sites were strategic purchases and no future use was decided at the time of purchase. The discussion about selling these lots is not and has never been about Council seeking to cash in. Council’s primary aim is capitalise on an opportunity to invigorate Robinvale’s retail sector.
The development of a business on this land is consistent with the current zoning. The neighbouring Bill McGinty Park is zoned Public Park and Recreation and cannot have commercial uses under this zone.
Councillors believe that adding a commercial business to the existing mix of uses on Bromley Road is good planning, will encourage people to stop and use the area, and enhance what we expect will become a vibrant and active area of Robinvale.
Catch up with your Councillors this Friday
Councillors will be in Perrin Street this Friday from 11am until 1pm cooking up a storm on the barbecue outside Bargain Basement.
It’s part of a new series of events where Councillors will catch up with residents in informal settings, giving you the chance to chat about your ideas or concerns.
Come along and say hi on Friday.
Skate park and boat ramp begin
We’ve been talking about them, planning for them and now they are happening – work on the new Swan Hill skate park and the new Swan Hill boat ramp start next week.
Expert skate park builders from our contractors Convic will set up on site late next week, and some trees will be removed and relocated to make way for the skate park.
Young people have been asked for a new and better-located skate park for many years now and we are pleased that we can deliver.
The concrete park will be built at Riverside Park, with access to water and toilets, and will sit alongside the soon-to-be-built active play area.
Once the skate park and active play areas are built, Riverside Park really will be space to be proud of, to use as locals and to show off to our visitors.
Just down the river, work will start on the new Milloo Street boat ramp too. On Thursday and Friday, the boat ramp will be closed to remove some trees. Contractors will then move on site on 11 June to start construction.
We will build a new two lane boat ramp, long vehicle parking and new toilets. It will be a great asset for a river community like ours.
We thank the State Government for its funding commitment to these projects, and the Federal Government for its contribution to the skate park.
Support our Town Hall shows
I recently attended Boys in the Band – a show at the Swan Hill Town Hall. And what a show it was. If you were there, you know what I mean, and if you missed it, you really did miss out on a great night.
The Town Hall puts on some high quality, professional shows, entertaining shows that are handpicked for Swan Hill by our performing arts team.
Please buy your tickets and head along. Without audiences, these shows simply can’t go ahead. The next show is the Comedy Festival Roadshow on 31 May, then more music including Lee Kernaghan, Marina Prior and David Hobson, and The Sapphires.
Get in touch
I want to remind you not to be afraid to contact Councillors or the Council office if you have ideas or concerns about things affecting our community. No matter how big or small these issues are.
Thanks to those who came along to the first Coffee with a Councillor in Swan Hill on the weekend. We had some great discussion with residents and will follow up on their ideas. We’ll host a barbecue in Robinvale today from 11am until 1pm to talk to residents there. And if you live in the Lake Boga and Ultima areas, keep an eye out for details of Coffee with a Councillor in your town soon.