There are no plans to restore Keilor’s historic Horseshoe Bend farm to a functioning farm.
The 26-hectare reserve was re-opened to the public in 2016, six years after it was closed by Parks Victoria, but access to the site has been limited and the buildings remain vacant.
A member of a failed consortium which attempted to get the farm back up and running in 2013 says it’s present derelict state is heart-breaking.
Training, Employment, Accommodation and Mentoring inc (TEAM), was part of an alliance of five organisations which planned to restart the farm and pay homage to the area’s indigenous heritage.
The alliance was appointed as the preferred lease holder of the site but lease negotiations fell over in 2015.
“It makes my heart ache to see the current state of the farm,” TEAM chief executive Anne Marie Mason said.
“When you go there you feel the weight of the world lift off your shoulders. It’s a magical place and it hurts to see it go to rack and ruin.”
Ms Mason said the failed proposal would have been a win for the whole community.
“We were going to have a joint project with the Wurundjeri, which would have returned the farm and offered employment opportunities for locals with a disability,” she said.
“It also had an animal rehabilitation component and was going to have a strong focus on the site’s indigenous heritage.
“We’d still love to be part of something to get the site back up and running, but to be honest, we just want to see the site being used again, regardless of who starts it.”
Parks Victoria area chief ranger David Collins said there are plans for activities to be held at the site in the near future.
“Parks Victoria has also entered into a partnership with Wurundjeri traditional owners to provide both heritage and educational programs on site,” he said.
“In the meantime, Parks Victoria continues a maintenance program for the pasture, trail and toilets at the farm.
“We’ve received supportive comments from the community about our plans to maintain historic buildings.”