School celebrates social housing decision

THE sale of the airspace above the Nixon and Maude Street carparks in Shepparton has been rejected by Greater Shepparton City Council in an emotional Council meeting.

Shepparton ACE Secondary College, who maintain the development would have severely impacted more than 100 students and their families, are celebrating the decision to not go ahead.
School principal, Bronwyn Rose, says that the result was unexpected after an almost seven-month long fight to stop the development going ahead.

“This whole situation has had a huge toll on Councillors, on the students and the whole community,” said Ms Rose.

“We’ve had many calls from families telling us that they are relieved their kids won’t be crying at night worrying what will happen to their school now. This had a much bigger impact than even we realised.”

“Our students were the inspiration to keep fighting down and through to the end. This has never been about social housing, but protecting vulnerable students and their education,” said Ms Rose.

More than 700 submissions were received opposing the location for multi-storey social housing.

The decision not to sell the airspace above the car parks was rejected in a vote for 4-2 with Councillors Sam Spinks and Seema Abdullah voting for, and Councillors Geoff Dobson, Anthony Brophy, Fern Summer, and mayor Shane Sali voting against the development.

The result was met with applause from the audience at the gallery.

While no social housing is planned for the CBD at this point, Councillors expressed something needs to be done to address affordable housing. They have supported the sale of land on Parkside Drive, Shepparton, to Women’s Housing Ltd for a 45-dwelling social housing project that will support vulnerable women and children.