MEDIA RELEASE - Premier breaks privatisation promise

Maitland MP Jenny Aitchison has condemned the Berejiklian Government for its sale of the former Maitland Lands Board District Office at East Maitland.

Ms Aitchison described the auction of the iconic heritage building as yet another example of community-owned assets being cashed in to boost the Government’s budget.

“The Premier obviously values the State coffers more than she does Maitland’s cultural, artistic and community groups, who have been pleading with the Government for months to make use of this facility,” Ms Aitchison said.

“The building was not made available to them because the Government believed it could reap more than $1 million from its sale. And it appears they were correct; the Commercial Real Estate website is showing that the building did indeed sell on 11 December, 2019.”

Ms Aitchison said that she had not been able to obtain information about the purchaser, or the price, but the Hon Melinda Pavey MP, Minister for Property, previously told Ms Aitchison that the building had been valued at more than $1 million and was therefore ineligible for the Government’s Community Use Policy.

“This is about more than bricks and mortar,” Ms Aitchison said. “This is about history. The former Lands office was built around 1897 and is considered a beautiful example of Federation Free Classical architecture.

“It could have provided a permanent, secure and historically sensitive location for important community organisations such as the Maitland Regional Museum, the Maitland Historical Society and the Australian Museum of Clothing and Textiles.

“This is yet another sell-off from a Premier who said there would be no more privatisation under her government.”

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