Wollongong City Council's proposal to reclassify Gleniffer Brae house and gardens from community land to operational land and the sale of the Conservatorium site to the university is yet another example of money talking at the expense of local community concerns and the council abdicating responsibility for community assets.
Recent changes to land classified as community means that the university can lease Gleniffer Brae for 25 years as per their stated requirement, without having the land classified operational. Why then is the proposal to have the land reclassified still on the table?
It should be noted that reclassification as operational makes the land easier to sell down the track and means it will no longer require a "plan of management", removing valuable community input and transparency. Might this be an ulterior motive for the land reclassification?
The proposal to sell the current Conservatorium site to the university to construct a building 15m high will be out of keeping in an area surrounded by one and two-storey residencies and put further pressure on a locale already heavily congested by student parking and traffic.
As a member of the UOW Alumni Network, I recently received an email painting a glowing picture of the university's proposal for Gleniffer Brae. For balance sake, it seems only right to present a community perspective.