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Waterson Way Land To Go Back On The Market

By Mark Beale

Put forward by Whitsunday Chinatown Investments, the proposed Chinatown development failed due to unpaid funds.

THE land formerly earmarked for an Airlie Beach Chinatown development has been put out for tender again this week.

The site at 45-71 Waterson Way was originally purchased by Whitsunday Chinatown Investments in December 2014, with a 10% deposit paid at that time.

On December 14 last year, Whitsunday Chinatown Investments submitted a development application for the site.

This application triggered settlement of the outstanding funds on the $2.5 million agreement, with a deadline of January 4, 2016.

When this deadline was missed, an extension was agreed to by council to allow the group until January 27 to settle the debt.

Again the deadline was missed.

On February 3, then Deputy Mayor Andrew Willcox used his casting vote to veto a further extension, terminating the contract with Whitsunday Chinatown Investments.

Yesterday, the land was put back on the market, with a motion to do so put forward by Cr Jan Clifford and seconded by Cr Ron Petterson, passing unanimously at council’s ordinary meeting in Proserpine.

Council CEO Barry Omundson said council would be “engaging a specialist” to help them through the sale of the land.

“And what options are available to council in relation to that block of land,” he said.

Mr Omundson said the results of this expression of interest process would then be reported back to council “for their decision”.

Mayor Andrew Willcox then assured all councillors they would be “very informed as this process goes through”.

“There will be regular updates so everybody will know exactly where we are on this,” he said.

Cr Mike Brunker then spoke to the motion, asking council to ensure there wasn’t a repeat of the initial sale.

“Can we just make sure that in the future process we don’t have the debacle that went on before as far as requests and stoppages so we’re open and transparent,” he said. “And so whoever buys the land will know their entitlements and what they have to do before council signs off on it.”

Mayor Willcox responded by saying this was “a new council”.

“That’s how we roll with this one, so that won’t be a problem,” he said.

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