Member for Maitland Jenny Aitchison has claimed a win for the community following advice from the Minister for Finance, Services and Property, the Hon Victor Dominello MP that the proposed sale of the Lands Office building at East Maitland has been placed on hold by the NSW Government.

Earlier this month, Ms Aitchison wrote to Minister Dominello asking that Maitland be offered the same deal as Moree for the transfer of a public building into community ownership.

The Government’s latest backflip followed Ms Aitchison drawing the Minister’s attention to a recent announcement where Moree Plains Shire Council was offered the town’s Crown Lands office for just $1 with plans to re-use that building for a local museum.

The historic Maitland Lands building has been declared surplus to Property NSW and ‘Whole of Government’ requirements this year clearing the way for it to be sold-off.

Minister Dominello has advised that he’s asked Property NSW to put the sale process on hold so a proper assessment of the community use proposal by the Maitland Regional Museum committee can be made and negotiations with Maitland City Council can take place.

The Maitland Regional Museum committee has previously submitted an unsolicited proposal for the future use of the building and already held a number of discussions with Ms Aitchison and Property NSW on its plans to develop the Maitland Regional Museum.

Quotes attributable to Member for Maitland Jenny Aitchison MP;

“This is a huge win for our local community and I look forward to the proper assessment of the regional museum committee’s proposal.”

“This is a tribute to the hard work of our community. Dr Janece McDonald JP and all of the members of the Maitland Regional Museum have been advocating consistently to develop cultural resources for our community.”

“I want to thank Labor’s Shadow Minister for Crown Lands Mick Veitch MLC who has been a tireless advocate for ensuring our public lands are not sold off to the highest bidder and alerted us to the situation in Moree.”

“The state government has been applying double standards by not giving the Maitland Regional Museum Committee’s proposal the same consideration as it gave to Moree. This is yet another Government backflip demonstrating their wrong priorities. The community is sick of having to fight for decent infrastructure and services. We need a change of Government in March 2019 so we can start moving forward with strategic community led plans for our community development.”

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