After voting against approval of the Abacus redevelopment proposal for the Brisbane Rd carpark site in Mooloolaba, Cr Greg Rogerson spoke out, describing it as a bad deal for ratepayers.
After voting against approval of the Abacus redevelopment proposal for the Brisbane Rd carpark site in Mooloolaba, Cr Greg Rogerson spoke out, describing it as a bad deal for ratepayers. John McCutcheon

Council to close controversial carpark deal within month

SUNSHINE Coast Council said it would conclude negotiations within a month with the Abacus Property Group for the controversial redevelopment of the Brisbane Rd carpark site in Mooloolaba.

However it has refused to reveal key details of the deal and has yet to confirm whether or not it would require a final vote of councillors.

The council last month voted 9-2 to approve the Abacus development application which included 98 per cent site coverage in return for only a limited increase in net carparking gain given the 179 that had existed on the land, the number which would be needed to service commercial operations in it and the loss of street parking to make way for ramps to the triple tower construction.

A Sunshine Coast Council spokesperson said it was continuing to negotiate with the preferred tenderer, Abacus Group, on the conditions of the development approval and the contract for the development of the site.

How much ratepayers would be charged to park in the 703 spaces created by the deal - including more than 250 to service the commercial premises - had still to be considered.

The council would not reveal how much cash - rumoured to be $20 million - it would commit on top of the land nor what benefit would be gained from the developer.

"Council does not conduct its negotiations via the media as this would simply telegraph its negotiating position and undermine its ability to secure the best possible outcome for the ratepayers," the spokesperson said in response to questions of how much ratepayer money had been committed to the deal.

"This is fundamentally no different to what council did in relation to negotiating the commercial partnership arrangement with Palisade for the Sunshine Coast Airport - which related to a single site and was negotiated with one party selected through a comprehensive competitive tendering process. 

"Council achieved an outstanding outcome for the ratepayers from those negotiations.

"Similarly, council conducted a thorough tender process for the Brisbane Rd carpark development to select Abacus and there was a probity advisor in place right throughout that process. 

"The negotiations are continuing and there are matters relating to both the development conditions and the contractual terms that still need to be resolved. 

"The mayor has already given a public commitment that council will release information to the public once the negotiations are concluded. It is anticipated that these negotiations should be concluded within the next month."

Division 10 Councillor Greg Rogerson, who along with Division Seven Cr Ted Hungerford were the only ones to oppose the development approval, has described the deal as a bad one for ratepayers.

That view has been shared by former Real Estate Institute of Queensland, Sunshine Coast branch president and property developer Geoff Glanville, who said the arrangement "doesn't pass the pub test" and was a poor outcome for residents.


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