MP blames government for allowing homestead to fall into disrepair

November 08, 2017

Rochester's Rod McAsey with Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh at the run down homestead.

NOTHING is happening with Rochester’s Random House.

The government-owned property is still sitting in disarray despite calls to return the homestead to its former glory.

The home sits on about 9ha, has the Campaspe River running through it and most recently was used to house victims of domestic violence, but continues to sit overgrown and empty.

And Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh has had enough.

Mr Walsh spoke about the issue in parliament again last week.

‘‘The Labor government is arrogantly ignoring the issues at Random House despite the Rochester community’s concerns,’’ he said.

‘‘The heritage-listed house and gardens has been allowed to fall into disrepair by the government, who just do not seem to care.

‘‘I first raised this issue in a constituency question back in August 2016.

“There has since been a range of correspondence with the Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos.’’

In June, the minister told Mr Walsh she shared his concerns about the disrepair of the property and a review would be finalised in July.

‘‘This review would inform the department’s decisions in relation to the Rochester property going forward,’’ Mr Walsh said.

‘‘Importantly, the minister gave an assurance that in the interim action had been taken to see that the homestead is appropriately maintained.’’

Mr Walsh said nothing has happened at Random House since that time and he has heard nothing further from the minister.

‘‘The property is overgrown with grass, fallen branches are rubbing on the roof,’’ he said.

‘‘There is a severe fire risk to the homestead and the surrounding properties.

‘‘It is just not good enough and the people of Rochester feel very let down.

‘‘The minister claims to sympathise with the situation, but her words are just rhetoric. If she really cared, Random House would never have been allowed to deteriorate to its current state.’’

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