Public land sale halted, gov to negotiate with council
THE sale of Department of Education land at Suffolk Park will not proceed on the public market after a meeting with Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli, North Coast Nationals MLC Ben Franklin has announced.
A statement from Mr Franklin reported that he had succeeded in convincing Minister Piccoli that the government should negotiate to sell the land to Byron Shire Council instead - so that this important public space can remain available to the community into the future.
"The Department of Education regularly buys and sells land in order to target the provision of schools in growth areas and the Suffolk Park site was not considered required for future growth," Minister Piccoli said
"After strong representations from Ben Franklin regarding the importance of the land remaining available to the community, I have withdrawn it from public sale and have instructed the Department of Education to negotiate a sale with Byron Shire Council instead."
Mr Franklin met with key stakeholders including representatives of the Suffolk Park Progress Association and the Suffolk Park Football Club at the site on Sunday afternoon to see firsthand how important the space is to the local community.
"It was a privilege to meet with these passionate local advocates and to see how this wonderful and vibrant community space is being used. Today I was proud to take their voices directly to the Minister," Mr Franklin said.
"As a result of my representations this public sale will not proceed and instead Byron Shire Council will be able to purchase the land and ensure that it remains available to the community.
"As a Nationals MP, I am proud to be part of a government that has listened to the community's wishes and acted for the benefit of all local residents.
""I have always believed that nothing is more important than standing up for our community - and today they have had a great win."