Cygnet Medical Centre sale
On Thursday 14 March, Huon Valley Council held an information session on its intention to sell, rather than continue to lease, the Cygnet Medical Centre. The decision was made at the September council meeting by then commissioner Adriana Taylor, based on advice provided by council staff.
The meeting was hosted by the general manager, Emilio Reale, and the legal and governance officer employed by the council, and was attended by more than 30 people, many of whom had questions on different aspects of the proposal and its potential impacts on health services in the Huon Valley.
Questions were asked about the sale of public land which does not yet have a title, about the potential loss of the facility when the contractual agreement with the Commonwealth expires in 13 years, about how the issue of the sale of the land (and building) was raised with council, and why the issue had not been raised with the newly elected council. When an answer was not available, people were asked to send their questions and objections to the sale of the land to the council at legal.pa@huonvalley.tas.gov.au.
No financial information, such as the lease paid to council or the contractual agreement with the Commonwealth, was provided. Council’s income and expenditure on the medical centre is not available in the 2017-2018 annual report. It is not clear why the expression of interest process was advertised concurrently with the sale of the public land, given that the sale process (under s. 178 of the Local Government Act 1993) requires approval by the council after consideration of all objections, and any further appeal to the Resource Management and Planning Tribunal against the sale could extend the process for months.
Formal objections must be lodged with the council by Friday 22 March.
Liz Smith

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