The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien MP says promised works on the vacant Nyora railway station building have stalled due to bureaucratic red tape.
The Nyora station was promised a share of $9 million from the Community Use of Vacant Rail Buildings (CUVRB) program in the 2020-2021 State Budget, however works have failed to progress.
“The building was previously being used to house the local community op shop until they were told they would be required to sign a commercial lease making the venue no longer affordable,” Mr O’Brien said.
“Since then, no other operators or community groups have been identified to move into the building. As a result, the State Government is now stating that works cannot commence as the building is not being used, placing the funding in jeopardy.
“So we have the ludicrous situation where the State Government has forced a community tenant out of the building and is now saying a renovation can’t proceed because there is no community tenant!
“Nyora is now left with a vacant building that will no doubt fall into disrepair at the mercy of the weather and vandals, while the promised funding goes by the wayside and the cost of any future fit-out potentially blows out.”
Mr O’Brien said this was a classic example of bureaucracy lacking common sense.
“It baffles me that VicTrack is willing to allow this funding to go unused and its asset to sit idle. Arbitrary bureaucratic decisions like these are what frustrates so many in our community.
“The Andrews Labor Government needs to do better to ensure valuable community assets like the Nyora station building don’t fall victim to red-tape nonsense.
“I will be working with South Gippsland Shire to discuss options for identifying a suitable community-use so that the works on the building can go ahead as promised.
“I would be happy to hear from any community groups that think they could utilise the Nyora railway station to ensure we don’t miss the opportunity to upgrade it.”