A $20 million price tag appears to have dashed hopes that Mornington Peninsula Shire Council could buy a 2.8-hectare former water reservoir in Mount Eliza for community use.
The shire’s acting corporate strategy and business improvement director Nathan Kearsley said a decision had been made to not buy the property at 57 Kunyung Road.
“We understand the state government is seeking more than $20 million for this land parcel and there are no existing council policies or strategies that would support its acquisition,” he said.
“We understand there are many in the community who want to retain the site as open space.
“The mayor [Cr Anthony Marsh] is in the process of writing to the Department of Treasury and Finance to urge the state government to retain the land for public open space and conservation purposes.”
South Eastern Centre for Sustainability spokesperson Steve Karakitsos said the group was committed to fighting to preserve the land and surrounding wetlands as a “natural wonder” for the public to enjoy.
It had recently held a poetry competition which drew a range of emotional writings about the site and what it meant to the community.
He said council’s earlier efforts to investigate buying the land were appreciated.
Advice from DELWP earlier this year was to contact Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio to intervene to protect the wetland.