FJs maintenance, ownership saga 'progressing'

HERITAGE Victoria says there has been progress in the saga surrounding responsibility for the dilapidated Fletcher Jones factory.

Last month The Standard reported the site has been a “legal black hole” since 2012, when owner Ian Ballis’ company was placed into receivership, with no one sure who was responsible for maintenance of the buildings and the iconic silver ball water tower.

But Heritage Victoria said there had been communication between and with Mr Ballis, the receiver, the mortgagee and the bankruptcy trustee in recent weeks.

“That communication has related to ownership and responsibility of management of the site,” a spokeswoman said.

“This is a complicated situation, but progress is being made and we are confident of an outcome soon.”

The ownership issues came to a head last month when Heritage Victoria wrote to Mr Ballis saying it was appropriate to reassess the condition of (the silver ball), and request he undertake the work.

But Mr Ballis said he had not seen any such correspondence and that he had no authority over the site. 

“The tenants are looking after the site and I assume maintenance would fall back to (mortgagee Dd&D Securities),” Mr Ballis said last month.

Ashley King, a director of Dd&D Securities, also said last month he had not seen any correspondence and indicated he thought the responsibility of maintenance should fall back to Mr Ballis and the receivers.

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