Osborne House to remain in public hands

Thursday, 26 July 2018

Historic Osborne House in North Geelong will be retained in public ownership after a notice of motion moved by Cr Eddy Kontelj was adopted during the 24 July Council meeting.

The adopted notice will also ensure the development of a master plan and business case for future uses of the precinct, to be completed by December this year.

These plans will take into consideration suggestions and recommendations from the Conservation Management Plan for Osborne House and Stables 2009.

The master planning process will include public and community consultation with relevant stakeholders such as Osborne Park Association, Vietnam Veterans, Corio Bay Camera Club, Geelong Memorial Brass Band, Maritime Museum, North Geelong Football, Netball and Cricket Club and other Osborne House/Park tenants.

Council also supported a commitment that planning and/or works should commence no later than the 2018-19 financial year, subject to appropriate master planning, business case preparation and funding availability.

Part of Crown Allotment 56C (the former Corio Shire Depot) will be offered for lease to the adjoining landowner, following a valuation to ascertain the rent payable.

The terms of the lease will acknowledge that Council is under no obligation to sell the site. Council will advertise its intent to offer a lease with a minimum four-week submissions period.

If any submissions are received, a Public Submissions Hearing Panel will be established to make recommendations to Council.

Rent received from the lease will be directed to the restoration or associated planning of Osborne House and Stables.

Mayor Bruce Harwood:

Osborne House’s strong historical significance for the community has been recognised this evening with this decision. It’s important that any heritage assets we retain are considered in terms of their financial viability as well.

The proposed master plan and business case should reveal how the site can be best utilised as a publically accessible heritage site whilst being an economic driver for our city.

Cr Eddy Kontelj:

Osborne House has the potential to symbolise Geelong. It has the potential to host exhibitions, to host small to medium-sized conferences, to be a performance space for our creative community, and to house businesses and retail outlets. We have an opportunity and the ability to be both community-minded and commercially astute.

It’s imperative we promptly commence restoration works to allow the building’s full potential to be realised. This notice of motion will allow us to explore a wide range of funding options to do that.

Page last updated: Thursday, 26 July 2018