Kim O’KEEFFE (Shepparton) (11:48): Today I rise to speak on the Land (Revocation of Reservations) Bill 2023. The bill before the house is a bill for an act to provide for the revocation of certain permanent reservations of Crown land at 13 sites, to revoke related Crown grants and to re-reserve certain land and for other purposes. This bill allows conversations to start between the government and interested parties and the appropriate consultation.
I will start by referring to the land in my electorate. One of the main provisions of this bill is to revoke the permanent reservation of certain land at the Victoria Park Lake caravan park to provide for the temporary re-reservation of the land for public purposes. As a member of local government in the region for over six years, this has had a lot of conversations in regard to what the future of this site should look like, so it is very pleasing to see this come to the house today.
Clause 3 of the bill provides for the revocation of part of a permanent public park reservation at Shepparton in order to facilitate the future use, including the potential sale, of the land. The clause revokes one order in council that is set out in item 1 of schedule 1, providing for one permanent reservation insofar as it relates to Crown allotment 2024, township of Shepparton, parish of Shepparton. In addition, clause 4 of the bill sets out, subject to clauses 5 and 6, the consequences of the revocation under clause 3 of the bill. This clause will provide that the land is taken to be unalienated land of the Crown and that the appointment of any committee of management of that land, the appointment of any trustee of that land and any regulations made under section 13 of the Crown Land (Reserves) Act 1978 are also revoked to the extent they relate to that land.
Furthermore, clause 5 of the bill provides that on the revocation of the order in council referred to in item 1 of the schedule, being the land in respect of which the reservation is revoked by clause 3, that land is taken to be temporarily reserved for public purposes under section 4(1) of the Crown Land (Reserves) Act 1978. Clause 6 of the bill provides that on the revocation of the order in council referred to in item 1 of schedule 1, the Greater Shepparton City Council is taken to be the committee of management of that land appointed under section 14(2) of the Crown Land (Reserves) Act 1978. The reserving of the land temporarily for public purposes is to ensure that the Greater Shepparton City Council retains appropriate management control over the land following the revocation. Currently, Victoria Park Lake is permanently reserved for the purpose of public land and the Greater Shepparton City Council is the reserve’s committee of management. At the southern end of the reserve at Victoria Lake on the land owned by Greater Shepparton City Council is the caravan park which the council has operated for more than 60 years for the Shepparton community. Extensive growth, as you can imagine, has occurred during that time. In the minister’s second-reading speech he spoke about how the Greater Shepparton City Council has advised the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action that it wishes to purchase the Crown land portion of the caravan park in order for the park itself to be refurbished to cater for the increased tourism rates experienced across the Shepparton district.
This land is located in a prime location at the gateway of the city next to the Shepparton Art Museum, one of our major tourist attractions, which sits on our beautiful lake precinct. There has been significant investment also into this lake precinct over the years, and as mentioned by the member for Brunswick, the Economy and Infrastructure Committee got to see this beautiful precinct on their visit recently – and I invite members in the chamber to come to my region. Over many years the caravan park on the land owned by council has deteriorated; the land was flood-affected and more than ever needs work to be done. Council in the past has looked at refurbishment and future opportunities for the caravan park area to be upgraded, to turn the current run-down site into a wonderful tourist attraction and destination. The current size of the land owned by council led to roadblocks and limitations to what could be achieved. Council being able to purchase this extra Crown land hopefully will create a significant opportunity to look at future opportunities for the site. This is a great example of Crown land sitting dormant that could be used for public space and activation and an extension of the current offering.
The cost of the land to council is still to be determined. However, any sale is likely to take place in at least 12 months after the permanent reserve is revoked, after which the bill would temporarily reserve the land for public purposes under the Crown Land (Reserves) Act 1978, and Greater Shepparton City Council will continue as the land’s committee of management pending any sale. Under clause 1 the other areas included in the bill to be revoked are permanent reservations of certain agricultural research land at Toolangi; the permanent reservation of certain land at Seaspray; permanent reservations and related Crown grants of certain mechanics institute land at Haunted Stream, to be dedicated as a reserved forest under the Forests Act 1958; at Narracan South, which I am looking forward to hearing the member for Narracan speak about, at Darlimurla, Mirboo and Wombelano, the permanent reservations of certain land; the port of Geelong; permanent reservations of certain borough chambers land at Clunes; and the permanent reservation and related Crown grant of certain land at Alexandra Park in Melbourne. It also revokes the permanent reservation related Crown grant of certain land at the Melbourne City Baths reserves and the permanent reservation of certain land at Walhalla. This bill is providing a range of opportunities and improvements at all of these locations.
Clause 2, the commencement provision, provides for the bill to come into operation on a day or days to be proclaimed or on 1 November 2024 if not proclaimed before this date. I commend the bill to the house.