Vehicle collection drives a push for parking

WELLINGTON Shire Council will continue to help the Gippsland Vehicle Collection secure adjoining land for car parking.

Last November the state Department of Treasury and Finance offered council first right of refusal to buy land to the north of the vehicle collection site in Maffra.

The land is being prepared for sale by VicTrack, the state government body which owns all railway and tram lines, associated lands and infrastructure in Victoria.

The Gippsland Vehicle Collection has used the land for some time for overflow car parking during major events.

Members have hoped council will help keep the land as open space to allow it to be available for parking.

Council has decided to submit an expression of interest for the land to allow for specific terms of sale be negotiated.

Making the submission does not bind council to buying the land.

Gippsland Vehicle Collection member Robert Noble said the large crowd which attended the opening of the Beaut Utes display on Sunday highlighted the need to keep the extra parking space.

“We see this land as vital to the future viability of our business,” he said.

Mr Noble said about 10,000 people visited the collection in the past year, bringing benefits to the community.

“It’s a source of local pride, not just in Maffra, but for the wider community,” he said.

Mr Noble acknowledged the help of council and the work of VicTrack to reach an agreement.

“I’m confident that we can find a solution to see that land retained for open space.

“How that’s achieved, I’m not sure,” he said.

“(The council resolution) is certainly a major step towards achieving that goal.”

While council’s decision didn’t mean it would necessarily buy the land, councillor Peter Cleary said it would “open the door” to find ways for the Gippsland Vehicle Collection to continue using the land.

“The Gippsland Vehicle Collection has done an outstanding job over the last 10 years since it started,” he said.

“The need for that land to help with parking for the collection is pretty important.”