.

THE community should ask why the Hills Hub project, with its potential for significant benefit to the community, has stalled.
The answer, I am told, is that part of the site is under control of the Emerald Mechanics Institute Committee of Management, which is appointed by the State Government, and the balance owned by council.
The COM wants to continue controlling the design of the development and determining the future management of the state-owned part of the site.
Two separate controlling bodies and two future governance arrangements for one project is ridiculous – a recipe for chaos.
It is time the interests of the community were put ahead of the narrow interests of COMs.
It is time Minister Lisa Neville intervened and demanded a rational approach.
It is a time for sanity before a $5+ million project for the wider hills community, including Federal and shire funding plus a generous contribution by the Dandenong Ranges/Bendigo Bank, is put on the scrapheap.
The days where government-appointed COMs, operating under controls established 50+ years ago, are able to block progress by playing ‘the rules’ game need to be over.
The present process has involved many hours of meeting time from many individuals who have contributed their ideas in anticipation of a building commencement in July/August 2016.
COMs which deserve support will think about what is best for the community and how they can help make progress happen.
Colin Wales,
Cockatoo.

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