Land sale ‘impacts’ wildlife

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ENVIRONMENTALIST Steve Karakitsos says the sale of the Melbourne Business School in Mt Eliza will worsen the area’s dwindling natural environment and lead to species loss.

President of the South Eastern Centre for Sustainability, Mr Karakitsos, said the redevelopment of the site will contribute to the loss of “precious” habitat, which was a recognised factor in species loss.

The 8.9 ha property in Kunyung Rd has been bought by Ryman  Healthcare for $40 million and will be redeveloped into a luxury retirement living centre with independent living apartments, pools,  cafes, care hospital and theatre.

The site is opposite the Kunyung Reservoir, which environmental groups want South East Water to preserve as a flora and fauna reserve.

Mr Karakitsos said the development of a retirement village opposite the reservoir strengthens the case for preserving the South East Water land.

He wants South East Water to reverse the “neglect by previous authorities” by not selling the site and allowing it be used as public open space or an environmental reserve.

He said preserving the site would “cement South East Water’s reputation and respect in the broader community”.

SEW wants to rezone the 24 former land parcels for residential development, under the original 1924 subdivision plans of 92 years ago.

Mr Karakitsos said those plans were “rendered ineffective” by the environmental, political and sociocultural changes driven by Mt Eliza’s changing demographic.

First published in the Mornington News – 27 September 2016

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