Brimbank council is calling on the state government to join in a co-operative approach to keep the former Calder Rise primary school site in public hands.

Mayor John Hedditch said the council would write to the government to request further discussions to retain public ownership of the Green Gully Road site, including transfer of ownership and/or management to the council.

“We will be requesting a meeting with the premier and treasurer to discuss re-investment in education, health and wellbeing, sport and recreation, arts and culture [and] infrastructure following the sale of other former school sites,” Cr Hedditch said.

Brimbank council administrators passed up the opportunity to buy the Calder Rise site, one of five vacant school sites that the government had deemed “surplus” to the education department’s needs in 2014. Four of the sites were sold last month.

Cr Hedditch said the government had removed the Calder Rise site from public sale and that the council was interpreting that as a positive sign.

“We are hopeful … government is listening to our message – that Brimbank needs to overcome under-investment in community infrastructure to bridge the disadvantage gap,” Cr Hedditch said.

He said the council was initiating a “due diligence” report on the site to review potential community use option