The Greek Community of Melbourne’s (GCM) long campaign to realise its preferred community centre proposal at its Greenaway Street Bulleen property has been realised.
The land compulsorily acquired as part of the North East Link Project was one where the GCM had invested a significant amount of effort and money. The goal was to realise its ambitious community facility but the State’s major project agenda has ended any chance the GCM had of realising its proposal.
Whilst the land has now been acquired, the GCM is continuing to negotiate with the Authority with regard to the final settlement. It has currently been offered and received $11,480,000.
GCM President Bill Papastergiadis OAM said: “Whilst it is without a doubt disappointing to not be able to realise the Billy Kavelaris designed Community Centre we presented to our members, the funds received and still being sought by the GCM and its legal team to date will serve the Community well into the future. These are exiting times for the Community with a number of exiting projects to be announced in due course.”
In further developments, the GCM would also like to announce that it has continued to build on its asset base and at the same time taken the next important step in the realisation of its Greek Centre Hub (working title) project with the acquisition of 272 Russell Street in Melbourne.
The Hub was announced prior to the pandemic and is funded in part with grants secured by the GCM from both the Federal and State governments, each contributing $2,500,000 towards the project.
On this important milestone, the Treasurer of the GCM Assoc Professor Marinis Pirpiris said: “The Greek Centre Hub was a project that we have long committed to and had secured support for before Covid hit. We thank both the Andrews Victorian government and the Morrison Federal government for investing in the Greek Community’s programs. As Treasurer of the organisation, it is pleasing to see that this project is coming to fruition. Coupled with the Bulleen compulsory acquisition, I am confident that the Greek Community heads into the future on solid financial ground.”