The Age | 16 September 2013
The government gave the money to the council so it could investigate and draw up a plan for the future use of the closed Swinburne University Lilydale campus.
In August, Labor MP Shaun Leane called on the Auditor-General to investigate the payment, saying there was an ”obvious conflict of interest” as the council said it wanted to move its offices to the site.
Auditor-General John Doyle replied to Leane saying he ”would be pleased to consider the matters you have raised as part of the next VAGO [Victorian Auditor-General’s Office] financial audit cycle”
A spokeswoman for Higher Education Minister Peter Hall said allegations of a conflict of interest misunderstood the opportunity to develop vocational training and tertiary education at Lilydale. ”
The $100,000 grant was provided to support a comprehensive strategy that will enable the site to be sustainable, relevant and to meet the needs of local businesses and communities. ”The Lilydale Campus Advisory Committee was independently formed to source the best way forward for education in Lilydale and the outer east.’
Yarra Ranges Mayor Jim Child said it would co-operate with any inquiry when asked and that the council was committed to exploring all possible future models for the delivery of education on the former Swinburne site in Lilydale.