Kingston Council has called on Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) to buy a problematic abandoned retirement village to ensure the site is not left empty for years to come.
The former Berkeley Living complex in Patterson Lakes, 50km southeast of the Melbourne CBD, has become the target of vandals and graffiti attacks since it was shut down in 2017.
Kingston Mayor, Steve Staikos said the community and Council are deeply concerned that the privately-owned site will continue to attract anti-social behaviour.
“Unfortunately, until recently there were no provisions that gave CAV the power to pursue the sale of the land,” Mayor Staikos said.
“I have recently written to the Minister for Consumer Affairs, who has confirmed that following amendments to the Retirement Villages Act 1986 the Director, Consumer Affairs Victoria is currently considering legal intervention to provide for the sale of the land.
“The community has been deeply concerned the complex will remain an eyesore into the future, and it is essential the State Government now acts.”
He said Council acknowledged the situation was legally complex, as the privately-owned site has 39 individual lots, with many of the owners being elderly, or now deceased.
Council has been required to step in and secure the complex from vandalism over recent years and is hoping to recover the circa $100,000 that has been spent to secure the site, the Mayor said.
The retirement village was closed in late 2017 due to safety concerns at the site, with CAV
stepping in to assist elderly and vulnerable residents to relocate.