A FRESH push for the decommissioned water reservoir in Kunyung Road Mount Eliza to be protected from development and kept as community space has begun in the lead up to the Dunkley by-election.
Mornington MP Chris Crewther, shadow minister James Newbury, South Eastern Centre for Sustainability president Steve Karakitsos and Ian Morrison, of Mount Eliza, visited the site on Tuesday 23 January.
The MP and candidate had earlier inspected the Beleura cliff path at Mornington which has been closed because of landslides (‘Spy cameras’ on wrong track, The News 30/1/24).
The South East Water reservoir land has been handed to the Department of Infrastructure and Transport and is in the midst of a process to either transfer its ownership or to be sold.
Crewther – the former MP for Dunkley who was defeated after one term by Labor’s Peta Murphy who died last December – said there was an opportunity to keep the land for the public or put it in philanthropic hands as a public-access ephemeral wetlands and reserve, similar to the decommissioned Frankston Reservoir.
Crewther said the land also acted as a drainage sink during wet weather or flooding.
“The alternative may be selling off the site to a private developer for up to 40 homes, which residents are strongly opposed to,” he said.
Crewther said the “the best and easiest result” would be for the land to be transferred to Parks Victoria along with a minimum $1 million from state and or federal governments for basic rehabilitation.
He said it “it may be something that could be committed to as part of the Dunkley by-election”.
The 2.8 hectare site at 57 Kunyung Road has some bay views.
In 2022 Mornington Peninsula Shire Council passed up the opportunity to express an interest to buy the site “for a community use”.