Petition seeks review of Moyne River land decision

MORE than 1000 people have called for an urgent review of an adverse possession claim granted for a prime riverfront block in Port Fairy.

The names were contained in a petition presented to Moyne Shire Council’s meeting on Tuesday night.

It aims to overturn a decision to grant ownership of the flood-prone block at 107 Gipps Street to John Mugavin under adverse possession rules.

Mr Mugavin’s plans to build a house on the land were rejected by the council and he will take his case to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal at an August 14 hearing.

Objectors Jack Smits, Gordon Harman and John Konings presented the petition, which calls on council to take urgent action to have the Registrar of Titles review the adverse possession decision.

In its submission, the group said the parcel of land had been a popular fishing spot for the public for decades.

It described the 1000 signatures opposing the ownership transfer as a “significant achievement” given Port Fairy’s population of 3000.

The group’s representatives said they were frustrated at the lack of progress made by council in overturning the adverse possession decision.

Councillors last month voted to request an Ombudsman’s investigation into the decision and Cr Colin Ryan assured objectors that council was still working hard to resolve the issue.

Councillors this week also unanimously backed a motion by mayor James Purcell urging the Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority to review its decision not to oppose the plan.

But Cr Purcell said significant tidal inundation at the site in recent weeks should now justify a review.

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