Millthorpe Murmurs: Villagers in an uproar over plan to sell units

HOMES ON THE LINE: Residents of Millthorpe Inala units Ray Crossley and Tony Hunt. Photo: PIP FROGLEY

HOMES ON THE LINE: Residents of Millthorpe Inala units Ray Crossley and Tony Hunt. Photo: PIP FROGLEY

Blayney Shire Council’s motion on Monday, November 21 to move to the proposed sale of the Millthorpe Inala units is creating angst and frustration across the community.

It will be detrimental to the local community should the sale of this important community residence go ahead.

Details on how the community may respond shall be published next week, with council allowing until the end of January to respond.

It appears council wants to proceed with the sell off without exploring other options and taking into consideration the community for affordable housing.

Millthorpe Inala units are the only local-government-owned, affordable-housing residence in the shire.

The units were built in 1980 from a grant given to the council from the Federal Government - a grant that came from tax payers’ money and, with it, implied a perpetual asset for the community.

Local councils are in the role of supporting the community and organising collaborative housing with the State Government.

In the Local Government NSW Interim Policy Statements on Housing it says, “local Government recognises that all residents have a right to housing that is affordable, appropriate and secure to their needs. When people are denied this right and are homeless, it becomes a social justice issue.

Local Government seeks to use the capacity of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act to assist in the retention and provision of affordable housing and adaptable housing.”

The council’s proposed business paper for the Millthorpe Inala Units demonstrates a one-sided view without opening an opportunity to present the case from both sides.

Council representatives presented the case at the Millthorpe Village Committee and Business Committee meetings in October.

The majority of local attendees responded with the desired outcome to keep the Inala units.

The occupancy of the units is currently 80 per cent.

President, Millthorpe Village Committee John Mason commented this is the worst Christmas present for the people who are living in Inala.

“How is it possible to sell the asset as it was a grant? This is morally wrong,” said Mr Mason.

“Blayney Shire Council has lost its moral purpose. 

“Why is council rushing and striping out assets from the community when the merger of Orange Regional Council may look favourable to keeping the asset for the community.”

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