A Greek run autism support group might be the latest victim to suffer from the Brimbank council scandal.
St Albans based Autism Angels will lose their place of residence, following the refusal of Brimbank council to renew their building leased by Hakki Suleyman through the Australian Turkish Cypriot Cultural and Welfare Association.
Autism Angels have been operating gratis out of the building in which the the Australian Turkish Cypriot Cultural and Welfare Association operates.
Instead of extending the lease which expires at the end of April, the council plans to manage the premises, located at 76 Bigg Street, St Albans, as a hall or space for hire.
Ms Havelas cannot understand the council’s decision, particularly after the group was awarded a Brimbank Council award on Australia Day for community well-being.
“It’s hard enough when children are disadvantaged and it saddens up that the Brimbank council don’t know our plight,” she said, adding that the council did not provide a reason as to why the lease would not be extended.
“The closure of the centre will shut down all support for families, and it could take months to find another place within the local area of Brimbank.”
Ms Havelas said that she felt Autism Angels were being denied the “basic freedom” because there were no councillors to advocate on their behalf.
Established in 2009 by Despina Havelas, Autism Angels has successfully supported families affected by autism, acting as a drop in centre for autistic children when parents are under strain.
Hakki Slleyman sees the Council’s action as being revenge for the findings of the Ombudsman’s report on Brimbank.
“Sometimes things happen but you have to put it away and move forward. That’s not the way… to take revenge on not-for profit organisations.”
Brimbank council decisions are currently made by three administrators and/or the Brimbank management team following the dismissal of its councillors last year.
Ms Havelas will meet with Brimbank administrator and chair, Peter Lewinsky on February 12 to dispute their decision.
Neos Kosmos contacted Mr Lewinksy who said it would be inappropriate to make a comment prior to the meeting.