In the 1 April 2012 Annual General Meeting of the Philippine Fiesta of Victoria Inc (PFVI), Chairperson Ross Manuel reported that the small parcel of the Laverton property was sold to finance the building of the Filpino-Australian Community Centre. The projected Centre will house function rooms, library/resources/exhibits room, training/seminar/conference room, offices, children’s area, among others facilities.
Noel Tolentino, one of the pioneers of the Philippine Fiesta when the fiesta was being held at the Caribbean Gardens and Market in Scoresby, told The Philippine Times that he was disappointed that part of the land was sold by the Management Committee despite not knowing how much the Centre would cost and if the Hobsons Bay Council will approve its development. “It’s only a concept so why would you sell part of the property? What the Committee should have done is to do a sketch, present it to the Council for final approval then estimate the cost,” he said.
As of press time, the Filipino Community or even the Concerned Members of the Philippine Fiesta of Victoria Inc (CMPF) has not seen the Contract of Sale. Tolentino said unofficial documents they hold show that the conditions of the sale favour the purchaser. “They have all the ammunition but the vendor (Philippine Fiesta) doesn’t. Hopefully the purchaser will back out as they can back out anytime but the Philippine Fiesta cannot. So once we see the Contract of Sale and study it then we can seek legal advice and might put a caveat straight away so the sale will not proceed,” he said.
Conditions of sale
Tolentino showed The Philippine Times unverified documents the CMPF currently hold indicating Conditions of Sale favouring the purchaser of the property. The conditions are:
- Sale is subject to town planning permit by the Council
- Subject to subdivision
- Purchaser agrees to pay all the cost regarding subdivision and town planning
- Condition to clear site is responsibility of the vendor
- Land size is 2,685 sqm corner of Thomas Street and Armstrong Street, Laverton
“If for example, the purchaser’s development plan was not approved by the Council they can then subdivide the property and sell it to an investor to build around 8 townhouses,” Tolentino explained.
In 2003, part of the Laverton property was already sold for $320,000 to pay off the loan balance of $250,000. What puzzles the group, according to Tolentino, is that the Community already sold the property to settle the balance and why the need now to sell another parcel. And most important, he noted, is that there is no Council approval yet of the proposed Community Centre.
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