THE Department of Defence spends about $2500 each day on maintenance costs for Fortuna Villa.
A spokesman said it costs defence about $900,000 each year to maintain the historic mansion, which is unused and closed to the public.
That equates to $75,000 per month, with that money spent on security patrols, maintenance, gardening and other costs, according to the spokesman.
The site has been vacant since 2008, following 12 years of minor defence use and 54 years of major army occupation.
Defence wants to sell the 60-room property, previously valued around $3 million, but a recent tender process was unsuccessful.
Member for Bendigo Steve Gibbons said the property was overvalued by the Department of Defence, but wouldn’t say how much they were asking as it was commercial in confidence.
“I think the Defence Department have too high a value on the property,” he said.
“I think that was borne as evidence by the fact it wasn’t able to release the price they’ve asked.
“The Defence Department needs to review that and I understand they’re doing that. Once that’s done it will be put back on the market.”
Mr Gibbons said he had negotiated public ownership with two state governments over four years without success.
The department won’t negotiate with the six failed tenderers, or the three people with late tenders, and will instead start a new marketing process this year.
Details of the tenders, including prices, won’t be released by the department and it would not say why the six tenders failed to meet criteria. The spokesman also said the property, which started construction in the 1850s, would not have another open day.
Fortuna was first used as a residence with gold mining and processing, then as a reception venue from 1938 to 1942 before being acquired by the army.
Three local groups have been opposed to the sale with concerns over heritage preservation and the loss of the site to the public.
An open day at Fortuna in 2008 attracted 5000 people.