Council votes for old Castlemaine gaol sale

The Mount Alexander Shire Council last night voted to sell the old Castlemaine Gaol to private developers, despite hearing from more than 100 objectors at a meeting the previous night.

Shire councillors voted at last night’s council meeting to go ahead with plans to sell the gaol for $550,000.

On Monday, councillors heard from 140 local residents who outlined their fears over the sale at a public meeting that went for five hours.

But Mount Alexander Shire mayor Janet Cropley said the process of sale was already under way and councillors were not going to backtrack on their original plans. 

The gaol is now set to be sold to a group of three local businessmen who plan to redevelop the heritage-listed site and build townhouses on the surrounding land.

Friends of Old Castlemaine Gaol president Doug Falconer said many locals were concerned about the loss of the heritage asset. 

“People are very disappointed. The overwhelming feeling at the meeting was against the private developments.”

He said the community group would continue to express its opposition to the sale.

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