Council land fails to sell
TWO blocks of land purchased by the council for nearly $3 million for a now abandoned bio-reactor project failed to find buyers at auction on the weekend.
The smaller of two parcels, a 2ha block on Kocho Rd at Nambour, which council paid around $330,000 for, attracted only one bid of $80,000 and was passed in.
The other property, the former lychee farm of the late Andy Flower which council bought for $2.49 million, failed to draw any interest at an auction at Buderim Ginger Factory in Yandina.
Marketing agent Peter Flint, of Elders Nambour, said that despite receiving no bids on Saturday he had since been given written conditional offers for the 30.5ha property.
Mr Flint said he remained hopeful both properties would sell but acknowledged the lychee farm would be harder to shift.
Re-establishing it as an income-producing farm would require considerable investment.
Mr Flint said there was profit in produce but farmers needed the ability to identify niche markets and then be capable of bringing it on out of season when prices were high due to limited demand.
Council's land dealings have come under the spotlight following revelations it paid nearly $4.4 million for a 40ha parcel of cane land at Valdora worth only $700,000 just 18 months ago.
It now faces a Planning and Environment Court challenge that may jeopardise its plans to build a $30 million solar farm on the site.
Council paid a company called Gruenenergy $2.68 million for its option to purchase the land from investor Akerman Enterprises.
It then had to pay Akerman $1.65 million for the flood-prone land.
Council has previously refused to answer detailed questions relating to those transactions, saying there were legal and contractual issues to be addressed.
Yesterday it said officers involved in the project were tied up in meetings and not available to address questions.