History was made on 24 July 2018 when a motion was put by Cr Eddy Kontelj and seconded by Cr Anthony Aitken to retain Osborne House in community ownership. The vote was passed by majority and the large gallery erupted in great applause.
Osborne House was a debt free endowment to the community of Geelong upon amalgamation of Geelong’s municipal councils in 1993 and members of the Osborne Park Association have worked towards this July outcome since the Association’s inception in 1999.
There have been numerous expressions of interest called by successive councils for the Osborne House site over the intervening years but without any outcome from these proposals, community groups leased various areas of the property for several years.
Osborne House was purchased in 1937 by the Shire of Corio using rate payers’ money. It was maintained and extended using rate payers’ money during the Shire’s 52 years of ownership and occupation. It was this Associations’ contention that the property therefore belongs to the people of Geelong.
It was a momentous and joyous occasion on 24 July to finally achieve our objective of having Osborne House Geelong voted by Council to Osborne House site into the future.