Council is proposing to sell three properties in its portfolio and reinvest in childcare facilities. We welcome your submission on this proposal.

The three properties proposed for sale are currently leased as community-managed childcare centres. Council has acknowledged that these three childcare facilities are at a life stage and in an overall condition that doesn’t support future needs without rebuilding to a contemporary standard of functionality and compliance, and that the sites are not well suited to such rebuilding.

We invite your submission on the proposed sale of these three Council-owned properties. We intend to reinvest the proceeds of the potential sales into childcare facilities, including the redevelopment of Council’s North St Kilda Children's Centre into a modern, fully accessible, purpose-built facility with expanded capacity. You can read more about Council's commitment to childcare and plans for the development of the North St Kilda Children's Centre below.

Council hasn't made a decision to sell these properties, and is undertaking a statutory process in relation to this proposed sale in accordance with the Local Government Act 2020. All submissions received will be considered by Council prior to a decision being made.

Council has also asked that officers continue ongoing dialogue and information sharing with the Committees of Management of the relevant childcare centres to identify any viable alternative options to sale.

Watch the online briefing session on demand modelling

The demand modelling has been updated to ensure we have the most up to date information (as demand and supply is in constant flux) and to extend the modelling to include long day care as well as kindergarten. We held a meeting on February 18 to present the updated modelling.

Please use this link to watch the session

Submissions have now closed. The Q&A section of this page will remain open so officers can answer any question on the proposal.

The consultation report and all submissions received will be presented to Council at the Ordinary Meeting on 18 May 2022, prior to Council deciding whether to sell these properties or not. If you’d like to speak to your submission at this Council meeting, please register via this link.

Click the FOLLOW button at the top of this page to receive notifications of future Council meetings and other project updates.

Ask a question

If you'd like to ask a question or you're after more information about this project, you can submit a question in the Q&A below.

Council has a long history of operating and supporting childcare and plays a role in delivering childcare and kindergarten services through direct ownership and management of five centres and financial support for 12 community-managed centres. Over the past decade or so, Council has developed four modern children’s centres, and is planning to redevelop North St Kilda Children’s Centre as a higher capacity, higher amenity and more functional day care centre with an all-abilities play space.

Following a comprehensive review its children’s services, a new children’s services policy “Every Child, Our Future: Children’s Service Policy” was adopted in September 2019.

The policy requires that ‘Council-owned facilities are fit-for-purpose and meet legislative and building compliance requirements’, and guides Council to ‘ensure facilities can meet current and future demand for children’s services in Port Phillip...[to] ensure Council provides facilities where there is evidence of a community need that can’t be met in any other way’.

Council’s centres compete within a broader childcare market that includes over forty childcare centres, registered family day care centres and in-home care providers.

Separate from its policy position regarding childcare provision, Council also has an obligation as a prudent landlord to manage the performance and risks of its portfolio – including by ensuring that Council assets are maintained to an appropriate standard and are compliant with building regulation and legislation.

Council charges its childcare centre lessees a Quality Building Levy to help fund renewal and replacement of its childcare facilities.

These small, community run centres were built as houses more than 100 years ago. They have declined with age, and do not meet modern building and accessibility standards.

Council bought all three properties at market rates, and has spent approximately $1 million in maintenance and renewal on these three buildings over the last five years to support the continued operation of the centres.

In the period since these centres opened, the standards for childcare centre buildings have changed. To bring these three centres up to standard requires a large investment, and each would need to close while works were underway.

There is no certainty that we could bring all three sites up to standard due to challenges with these specific sites, including:

  • heritage
  • size of the land
  • planning scheme
  • their residential location.

Undertaking significant or specific works can trigger the Building Code, and with it the requirement to bring the building to current commercial building standards. Additionally, the Disability Discrimination Act requires these buildings to be accessible to people with a disability.

In addition consulting with our community on the proposed sale of these three properties, Council will advocate to the Victorian and Australian governments to fund the works required to meet these standards. If the work isn't practicable, we will advocate to these governments for funding to purchase land and develop purpose-built childcare facilities.

As part of a staged renewal and upgrade of existing centres to become more fit-for-purpose over the next 10 to 15 years, we're planning for the replacement of the North St Kilda Children's Centre.

As well as being nearby to one of the centres proposed for closure, the North St Kilda Children's Centre is soon due for major renewal and upgrade, has potential for expansion of its facility and is located in an area of socio-economic disadvantage.

This new centre would offer our community a higher capacity, higher amenity and more functional childcare centre, and would be the first Council-owned centre fully compliant with disability access legislation.

Council is seeking state and federal government co-funding for the development of this new centre.

Make a submission

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Submit your question below and we'll do our best to answer as quickly as we can. You can also search and review previously posted questions and answers.

We've created this space for you to ask questions to Council officers. Please provide any feedback through the submission form so we can keep a formal record of all feedback received.

Who's listening?

Anthony Savenkov - Head of Real Estate Portfolio

Tom Temay - Property Development Associate

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Tom Temay

Property Development Associate

Anthony Savenkov

Head of Real Estate Portfolio

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