Heritage-protected buildings at Jackson Hill fenced off from the public. Photo / Sunbury Life.

Motion to lobby MP Josh Bull over vacant Jackson Hill buildings fails

A request that Hume City Council write to local MP Josh Bull asking why the State government is not maintaining the former hospital’s buildings on Jackson Hill fell flat at a meeting of the council on Monday 12 February.

Cllr Trevor Dance put forward the motion saying the historic buildings are rotting away, and says no improvements have been made to the properties since 2018, when a master plan (37mg PDF) for the site was signed off by the then Minister for Planning and Housing Richard Wynne.

Without a fellow councillor seconding his motion, Cllr Dance’s request could not be debated in the chamber or voted upon. He can resubmit the motion.

Cllr Dance says Jackson Hill is one of the most historical sites in Hume, with buildings dating back to the 1800s.

“So here we are some five and-a-half years down the track, and nothing has been done,” he says. “Council is doing its part, although a bit slow due the Victoria government’s delay over the years.

“But nevertheless, we are doing something with the section we have under our control – namely the Sunbury Community Arts and Culture Precinct. Where we had such a great turn out from the community last year to see what has been done already by council.

Victorian Heritage report.

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“However, we cannot say the same for the majority of the hill being looked after by the Victorian government.

“Vacant buildings are fenced off, with lawns mowed now and then, and we see these massive historical buildings boarded up and rotting away.

“The longer it goes on, the greater the restoration costs or worse. If this was in another country the government would be going out of its way to preserve it. This government is just sitting back and watching it rot away.”

One of the vacant buildings at Jackson Hill with boarded up windows. Photo / Sunbury Life.