MP blames gov­ern­ment for al­low­ing home­stead to fall into dis­re­pair

Campaspe News - - FRONT PAGE - By VIVI­ENNE DUCK

NOTH­ING is hap­pen­ing with Rochester’s Ran­dom House.

The gov­ern­ment-owned prop­erty is still sit­ting in dis­ar­ray de­spite calls to re­turn the home­stead to its former glory.

The home sits on about 9ha, has the Cam­paspe River run­ning through it and most re­cently was used to house vic­tims of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, but con­tin­ues to sit over­grown and empty.

And Mem­ber for Mur­ray Plains Peter Walsh has had enough.

Mr Walsh spoke about the is­sue in par­lia­ment again last week.

‘‘The La­bor gov­ern­ment is ar­ro­gantly ig­nor­ing the is­sues at Ran­dom House de­spite the Rochester com­mu­nity’s con­cerns,’’ he said.

‘‘The her­itage-listed house and gar­dens has been al­lowed to fall into dis­re­pair by the gov­ern­ment, who just do not seem to care.

‘‘I first raised this is­sue in a con­stituency ques­tion back in Au­gust 2016.

“There has since been a range of cor­re­spon- dence with the Min­is­ter for Fam­i­lies and Chil­dren Jenny Mikakos.’’

In June, the min­is­ter told Mr Walsh she shared his con­cerns about the dis­re­pair of the prop­erty and a re­view would be fi­nalised in July.

‘‘This re­view would in­form the department’s de­ci­sions in re­la­tion to the Rochester prop­erty go­ing for­ward,’’ Mr Walsh said.

‘‘Im­por­tantly, the min­is­ter gave an as­sur­ance that in the in­terim ac­tion had been taken to see that the home­stead is ap­pro­pri­ately main­tained.’’

Mr Walsh said noth­ing has hap­pened at Ran­dom House since that time and he has heard noth­ing fur­ther from the min­is­ter.

‘‘The prop­erty is over­grown with grass, fallen branches are rub­bing on the roof,’’ he said.

‘‘There is a se­vere fire risk to the home­stead and the sur­round­ing prop­er­ties.

‘‘It is just not good enough and the peo­ple of Rochester feel very let down.

‘‘The min­is­ter claims to sym­pa­thise with the sit­u­a­tion, but her words are just rhetoric. If she re­ally cared, Ran­dom House would never have been al­lowed to de­te­ri­o­rate to its cur­rent state.’’

‘ The peo­ple of Rochester ’ feel very let down — Peter Walsh

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