City of Greater Bendigo councillor James Williams has thrown his support behind a proposal to keep the historic Fortuna Villa in public hands.
He said the council could not afford to buy and restore the former home of George Lansell, but held concerns that it would fall into the hands of a private developer and not be maintained properly.
“It will cost $1 million a year to run so it seems hard to imagine how someone could maintain it if it is purchased by the private sector,” Cr Williams said.
“I worry that they will develop the site around it and we will be left with a building with no use.
“We can’t let this happen because the site is invaluable in an Australian heritage viewpoint, and the money that Mr Lansell would have paid back then for his home villa is just extraordinary.
“It’s more than just a site – it’s our history.”
Councillors will discuss Fortuna Villa at next Wednesday’s council meeting.