Update on Osborne House since the 25th of February Council meeting.

At the CoGG Council meeting of 25th February 2020, councillors voted unanimously to accept the recommendations of council officers regarding Agenda Item 4: Osborne House – Sustainable Development Plan (see attached)

The Osborne Park Association (OPA) who has been the main protagonists in this saga for many years, supported these recommendations, having worked with council officers over the previous 3 months to determine a way forward.

For OPA members it has always been central to any transactions regarding this very significant community owned asset that the interests of all concerned can live with the outcome. What the OPA has consistently worked towards is a viable, sustainable future for Osborne Park that benefits the community.

It is a critical asset for Geelong – and its history and heritage must be preserved, interpreted and augmented for the generations to come.

Councillors had recognised in August 2019 that the document presented as a ‘master plan’ for Osborne Park did not reflect the spirit or intent enshrined in the council motion of July 2018. That recognition initiated the re-scoping process and the resulting recommendations.

Vital to this process has been the re-scoping of the study area boundaries, and recognition that Osborne Park is more than just the football and cricket grounds. It is the historic property known as Crown Allotment 56 in the Parish of Moorpanyal – purchased by Robert Muirhead – who built Osborne House in 1858, and attached the name plates Osborne Park to the bluestone entrance gates on Melbourne Road.

It is now the only publicly owned, historic mansion with intact stables and surrounding environs on the waterfront.

This Sustainable Development Plan recognises that the significance of Osborne Park to Geelong, lies in its 162 year known history and its heritage values, and prioritises what needs to be conserved at Osborne Park – from Wadawurrung occupation, to the civic activities of the Shire of Corio.

The Osborne Park Association endorsed the report and thoroughly supported the immediate implementation of the maintenance and improvements works as advised in the Lovell Chen Conservation Management Plan 2009 and Updated Works Schedule 2018.

The Osborne House – Sustainable Development Plan report and recommendations represent a way forward. Osborne Park Association members welcome the opportunity for continued engagement as members of the Project Reference Groups (see p.37 Item 5 and Item 6 of attachment) as the future of this historic property is finally determined.

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