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Waterson Way In The Spotlight Again

By Mark Beale

One of the Whitsundays’ most controversial pieces of land could soon be up for sale again.

Whitsunday Regional Council is seeking expressions of interest on the 2.1hectare piece of land on Waterson Way in the heart of Airlie Beach.

The land was formerly under contract to Whitsunday Chinatown Investments Pty Ltd and was earmarked for a potential $300 million ‘Chinatown’ development.

Council voted to terminate the contract earlier this year after the developer, Peter ‘Raymond’ Wang, had failed to meet contractual requirements including the lodgement of a $1 million bank guarantee.

Mayor Andrew Willcox said the council would be proactive in exploring new options for the site.

“Council is taking a proactive approach to taking the Waterson Way land out to expressions of interest and is open minded to options and opportunities which may arise from the new tender process to deliver the best possible outcome for the Whitsundays region,” he said.

Cr Willcox, who used his casting vote in the last term of council to terminate the previous contract, said he had been ready for the site to be up for sale “for a while”.

“If you’re committed to try and sell something which will help to develop the community, if it doesn’t work out for one player then you want to find something else,” he said.

Being in the heart of Airlie Beach and with endless possibilities for the site, Cr Willcox said the ideal outcome would be a mixture of business, accommodation and entertainment.

And he thinks locals would agree. “I think locals would like to see the same,” he said.

“Locals would be happy to see more infrastructure and more things happening in Airlie.”

The expressions of interest will be marketed nationally and is currently on www.lgtenderbox.com.au.

SOURCE: WHITSUNDAY TIMES

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