The Department of Education and Training is proposing to sell part of the Altona P-9 College site for residential development.

On Monday, it advertised its request to rezone land at 103 Grieve Parade from public use to residential.

The move is a worry for the Altona Community Action group. Group spokesman Aaron Hunt said selling the land to the highest bidder would compromise the potential expansion of Altona P-9 College.

“We have stated for some time that Altona is in desperate need of a full-years secondary school,” he said. “This site is the logical choice … any proposal to reduce the available land size may compromise the ability to do this properly. Urban in-fill development is set to continue in the years ahead, meaning that many more families are expected to move to the area.

“It’s easy for the department to say that they could still provide a full-years facility on the remaining land when they have no intentions of ever doing it … once it’s sold, it’s too late to change their minds.”

The department maintains the sale will not affect potential for the school’s expansion.

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It says the two-hectare site it wants to sell, facing Belmar Avenue, has been deemed surplus to the department’s current and future needs.

An advisory committee has been appointed to make a recommendation on the proposed rezoning of the land, paving the way for its sale.

An information session will be held at the Hobsons Bay Civic Centre in Altona from 6.30pm on May 4. Written submissions can be made to the advisory committee until May 27.

Meanwhile, another part of the school site is being considered by Hobsons Bay council for a $7million early years centre.

The council is next Tuesday expected to vote on a proposal to close Altona, Somers Parade and Altona West kindergartens and relocate those children to a new hub to be built on the Altona P-9 school campus. The council has secured $1.6 million in state government funding towards the $6.9 million hub.

The council said its proposed early years hub would not be impacted by the department’s proposed land sale as it was planned for an entirely separate section of the site.

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