Hope not lost on Lands Office sale
The former East Maitland Lands Office building could still be placed in local hands, with the NSW Government granting a reprieve while a community use proposal is considered.
Earlier this year Maitland Regional Museum (MRM) expressed an interest in taking on the building for their permanent home and creating a cultural hub, however Property NSW moved forward with plans to sell the building as it was not needed by the Government.
Member for Maitland Jenny Aitchison then wrote to Property Minister Victor Dominello to replicate a deal made in the state’s west, which saw the Moree Crown Lands Office sold to the local council for $1.
Mr Dominello has now advised that he has asked Property NSW to put East Maitland’s sale on hold so MRM’s proposal can be properly assessed and Maitland City Council can be consulted.
“We’re ecstatic, because it’s many, many years of hard work,” MRM President Janece McDonald said.
“We’re just over the moon that the Government has finally seen that community means something, especially in Maitland.”
They are also waiting on the outcome of grant application which, if successful, would enable the purchase the old Maitland Mercury building, another possibility the group had been exploring.
“We have building management plans in place for both buildings, so we’ll take it as it comes and if we miss out on one but get the other we’ll be able to cope,” Dr McDonald said.
“We’ve also got our strategic plan, so we’ve got our bases covered.”