Merging assets brings new opportunities

When Victorian municipalities were forced to amalgamate many people feared the loss of a sense of identification or sense of place. This may have been the case at Bayside with Brighton and Sandringham both having long traditions of local representation and distinct identities.

The natural link provided by the coast and seaside flavour has proved a uniting force. However, more work is required with people from parts of former municipalities who still feel cut off from their old networks. The advantages of gaining economies from merging assets have delivered many benefits for the whole City.

According to Tony McIlroy, Corporate Manager Finance and Information Services, amalgamation has enabled the new City to create a community partnership, to achieve economies of scale and to convert 'lazy' assets into useful community facilities. Residents are now seeing many of the gains from amalgamation.

"The sale of underutilised land offered the opportunity to improve the aesthetic aspect of some areas and has also provided funds to bring valuable old buildings back to their former splendour," Tony McIlroy said.

In a partnership with the Urban Land Authority (ULA), the former Brighton depot site together with surplus land elsewhere, has been rehabilitated, developed and sold for housing. This has provided Council with funds to carry out infrastructure improvements.

Work has included refurbishment of the Brighton Town Hall, conversion of the former Brighton Municipal Offices to the new Brighton Branch Library, refurbishment of the old Courthouse for use as a Youth Centre and the establishment of the Corporate Centre, Council's Service Centre, located at Sandringham.

In addition, improvements to Council's heritage properties, including the expansion of public gardens at Black Rock House and the installation of a fire safety system at 'Billilla', have also been funded.

For further information contact Tony McIlroy, telephone (03) 9599 4444.