It was established long before Canberra was named the capital of the country but has been sitting vacant for a number of years.
Now, the Gold Creek Homestead is on the market.
The ACT government has called tenders for a new owner for the homestead and surrounding block, and points to the history of the homestead but is not guaranteeing its survival. The land will be used for aged care.
The site was nominated for inclusion on the ACT heritage register a number of times but was rejected, with the ACT Heritage Council deciding that while it had some heritage values it did not warrant inclusion.
In tender documents, the government notes that notwithstanding the Heritage Council's decision, "elements of the community" had advocated for its retention. The government says it accepts the Heritage Council's decision, but asks buyers to set out their plans for the homestead and says they should be aware of the community interest in it.
Gungahlin Community Council president Peter Elford said the homestead site was "delightful, with huge shady trees, a pond and an old tennis court" and would make a fantastic space for the community, which wanted the green space and building to be retained "in some active form".
"In a region and city that is so new, connections to the past, beyond a plaque or a sign are important," he said. "The building is not derelict ... It is certainly recoverable, and is a great location."
The more than 140-year-old homestead sits on a 4.8 hectare block and is bounded by Gungahlin Drive and Monty Place.
The land was bought by Anthony Rolfe for his son Edmund in 1872. It grew wheat, merino sheep and beef cattle.
In the late 1970s the homestead was redeveloped as a reception and function centre. It hosted about 7000 wedding parties.
The main homestead building and 41 hectares of surrounding farmland was sold to the ACT government in 1998.
The government's Suburban Land Agency released the land for sale via tender last month.
As part of the sale, the buyer must build residential care accommodation with at least 160 beds and up to 30 supportive dwellings. The zoning also allows child care, a community activity centre, a theatre, a health facility, a place of worship and an education establishment.
Tenders close on June 7, with a decision in July.
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