Sale of Ballerrt Mooroop put on hold

Part of the campaign for Australia's only Aboriginal cultural centre in Moreland Victoria.

The sale of the former Ballerrt Mooroop Indigenous College site in Glenroy, Victoria has been put on hold indefinitely following a traditional owner settlement claim.

Those campaigning to keep it in the public's hands are celebrating the decision, which makes the dream of turning it into a community hub a step closer.

A spokesperson for Victorian education minister James Merlino, confirmed the sale was off, given the land now formed part of a traditional owner settlement claim by the Wurundjeri people.

Gary Murray of the Ballerrt Mooroop Working Group said: “It's great the land is protected until the settlement is done. “[We] can put together a feasibility study and a business case to see if the First Nations community hub is viable.

“It has been a real rollercoaster ride for us for the past six years. We're back up now and it's time to get all groups and supporters together and get people involved.”

Murray said the business case was necessary for the Indigenous Land Council to provide funds and would be crucial in securing further investment to acquire and develop the property if the settlement claim was unsuccessful.

Moreland Council had been in negotiations to buy the land and Mayor Samantha Ratnam said she welcomed the pause in the sale.

In November, the Victorian government indicated it had accepted an offer of $1 million from Moreland Council for about a quarter of the site, but would sell off the remainder of the land.

A coalition of the Wurundjeri Council, Moreland Council, Indigenous Land Corporation and Indigenous people in Melbourne's north hopes to acquire the entire site to build an Indigenous services hub.

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