Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Response to comments from Senator Lyn Allison.



Download PDFDownload PDF

MEDIA RELEASE

The Hon. Fran Bailey, MP Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence

PARLSEC 010/04 Wednesday, 4 February 2004

RESPONSE TO COMMENTS FROM SENATOR LYN ALLISON

The Commonwealth is committed to the preservation of the 65 heritage buildings through the establishment of the Community Trust before transferring the site as a national park once heritage safeguards are met, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence, Fran Bailey said today.

Fran Bailey said that, while she appreciated the Australian Democrats Spokesperson’s interest in Point Nepean, many of the areas raised by Senator Allison have already been addressed.

“The Community Trust will include representatives of the local community to give a local perspective of Point Nepean. Senator Allison disagrees with our view of local representation on the Community Trust, and instead proposes four government representatives and two non-governmental organisation representatives,” Fran Bailey said.

“The local community at Point Nepean deserve to be represented on the Community Trust, and the Australian Government will ensure the local community has a voice and is heard.”

By the end of March, the Government hopes to have completed the legal and consultative process for the establishment of the Point Nepean Community Trust. The Community Trust will be a common law charitable trust with legally binding terms of reference.

“The Community Trust will manage Point Nepean for five years until the State Government lifts its game on built heritage. The Managing Our Heritage Report by the Heritage Council of Victoria found that Parks Victoria lacked the funds to maintain heritage buildings as well as the necessary skilled staff,” Fran Bailey said.

“Our hope is that the State Government can lift its game on the preservation of heritage, so that we can hand over Point Nepean in five years in good faith. I can assure Senator Allison that the Australian Government will have an independent and transparent process to measure the State’s heritage performance before giving the green light in five years.

The Australian Government will transfer the 205 hectares of bushland to the Victorian Government once safely cleared of unexploded ordnance.

Planning at Point Nepean will be in accordance with the Draft Community Master Plan, which sets out the acceptable uses of Point Nepean to the local community and was developed following eight months of community consultation. State and local planning laws will also apply.

“I believe the community would want politicians on all sides to cooperate, get on with the job of creating a world class national park at Point Nepean and end the political argy bargy.”

Media information: Kevin Lowe 0408 404 468