We're getting conflicting flood land sale stories
DOCUMENTS filed with the Planning and Environment Court under oath are at odds with statements released last week by Mayor Mark Jamieson explaining why council spent more than $4.3 million on a flood-prone piece of cane land at Valdora.
The council failed to respond yesterday to a series of questions put by the Sunshine Coast Daily about the two versions of the purpose of the expenditure.
Cr Jamieson said on Friday that following the presentation to council in February this year of a revised business case for a solar farm, a decision was made to pay $2.3 million "which was the substantial cost to develop the project plan as well as intellectual property".
"It's important to note that overall cost of $4.156 million (including the $2.3 million, land for $1.5 million, $300,000 option and rent payments totalling $56,000) has been factored into the business case which shows the council and therefore ratepayers will be way ahead - the savings will be many millions of dollars," he said.
However documents included in an affidavit sworn on May 7 by council solicitor Graeme Phillips and presented to the Planning and Environment Court, tell a different story.
Mr Phillips gave evidence that on June 28, 2013, the council entered into a Call Option Deed with Gruenenergy Pty Ltd and submitted a document marked as GNP3, "a true copy of such a deed".
It shows the council paid a $300,000 non-refundable opt
ion fee and agreed to pay two further amounts of $1.19 million to Gruenenergy for the right to its option to purchase the land from Akerman Enterprises Pty Ltd.
Nowhere in the document is it suggested that $2.3 million of the amount was paid for any other purpose.
The council paid Akerman Enterprises $1.5 million for the land title and also paid GST of $150,000 on the purchase.
The only reference to intellectual property or rights secured through the original development approval is in a document also submitted to the court by Mr Phillips marked GNP5.
It is a deed executed with Locality Planning and Consulting owned by former council planner Jason Hague who is also a former director of Gruenenergy.
The deed required Locality Planning and Consulting to transfer to council all the benefits of the development approval on the site in return for payment of $9556.69.
It states: "Locality and council have agreed that upon the council becoming the registered proprietor of the land Locality would transfer all of its interest in the application to council and from that date the benefit would vest in council."
A council spokeswoman said the numbers given by the mayor last week were short the $150,000 GST paid on the purchase and a rounding down by $80,000 of its figures.