David Morris MP

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Mr MORRIS (Mornington) — I raise a matter this afternoon for the Assistant Treasurer, the Honourable Gordon Rich‑Phillips.

Members may well be aware of reports of the construction of a private swimming pool on Crown land at Mount Eliza. The pool was reportedly constructed without a permit and on land identified as lacking the stability required to bear the combined weight of the structure and the water it contains.
The action I am seeking is that the Assistant Treasurer ensure that no agreement is entered into by the government to sell or otherwise transfer control of the land occupied by the swimming pool to any private person, body or corporation.
There are a number of issues in this matter, both in terms of the building itself, the structural integrity of the pool and more importantly the location of the structure. I do not want to canvass the building issues except to note that the pool has been constructed on the foreshore reserve at Mount Eliza and there has been some discussion — much of it public — surrounding the issuing or otherwise of a building permit and normal consents for the construction of such a structure.
I understand the pool has now been drained to mitigate against collapse given the reported instability of the slope and that further discussions, including those of a legal nature, around the future of the pool are occurring.
I am more concerned about the second issue, which is the future status of the land on which the pool is located.
The land is a coastal reserve and is currently managed by the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council. Essentially the question is whether the construction of any building or other asset should provide an opportunity or an excuse for the person who has occupied public land to then purchase the land or acquire control of the land under a long‑term lease.
It is my view, and certainly the view of my community, that it should not be allowed to occur under any circumstances. That is the critical issue here.
The role of government is to protect public land. I am confident that that is a view shared by all my colleagues on this side of the house, and I am sure it is shared by probably all members on the other side of the house as well.
I urge the Assistant Treasurer to make a strong statement to protect this coastal reserve and to reject any advance made to alienate the land.
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