Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh is calling for the sale of Rochester’s iconic Random House to prevent it from falling further into disrepair. Government drags its feet over sale of historic property
THE community has spoken, and it’s hoping the Victorian Government is listening.
Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh said the Rochester community should be very concerned the State Government was continuing to fail the town in the management of Random House.
After two years of lobbying for the historic home to be handed back to the people from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the department confirmed negotiations had begun to sell the property.
Mr Walsh said despite the Federal Government having now approved the public sale of Random House, the Victorian Government was dragging its feet, bereft of its responsibilities as a landlord.
“I have been advised by the Commonwealth government that the deed of agreement is with the Victorian Government and their formal delegate sign-off is required to allow the public sale of Random House to progress,’’ he said.
“I have been pursuing the Victorian Government for more than two years over this issue and I am again calling on the minister to finally do something to save Random House by signing off on the deed of agreement and providing the required letter of sale as a matter of urgency.”
Mr Walsh said if the deed of agreement was not signed off by October 30, when the writs were issued for the Victorian election, nothing would progress on Random House for a considerable amount of time.
“Under Daniel Andrews, Random House has been allowed to fall into almost total decay, degradation and ruination from disuse and lack of upkeep,’’ he said.
“The unkept gardens are a real fire risk, the locks on the doors are broken, and the inside walls are now kicked in or covered in graffiti.
“It is imperative that action is taken now to save Random House, otherwise it may be too late.”
A spokesperson from the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services said a decision was expected to be made in the coming weeks.
‘‘Family Safety Victoria is currently negotiating with the Commonwealth to determine the future of Random House in Rochester, Victoria,’’ the spokesperson said.
‘‘Local Aboriginal community groups are being consulted on this process, which is expected to be finalised in coming weeks.’’
Random House has been allowed to fall into almost total decay, degradation, and ruination from disuse and lack of upkeep.’
— Peter Walsh