COMM 2654 (Political reportage): State government hard news story

Moreland, Ballert Mooroop

Anastasia McInerney

August 13, 2015

$5 million to buy Ballerrt Mooroop site

The State Government proposed a $5 million asking price for Glenroy’s Ballerrt Mooroop site in a closed meeting yesterday.

The Victorian Department of Education closed the former Ballerrt Mooroop indigenous school in 2012 due to a fall in enrolments.

“It was devastating when it closed down,” Ballerrt Mooroop group chair Dorothy Bamblett said.

The Moreland City Council has already raised $1 million to purchase the now vacant state owned land at 208A Hilton Street.

Competition with private investors prompted the council’s #KeepitPublic campaign to ensure the site remained in public hands.

“This site should be maintained for community use,” Pascoe Vale State Labor MP Lizzie Blandthorn told the Moreland Leader.

Bamblett said the site would be “perfect” for an indigenous services hub not currently present in the Moreland area.

MP Blandthorn said the “indigenous significance” of the site should be maintained through the council’s “peppercorn rental” of the land.

According to the Ballerrt Mooroop Strong Spirit Network Facebook group, the “Sacred Spirit Tree” and “Ceremonial Corroborree Ground” stand on the “protected” site.

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