Car park sale price queried

By LUIS FELIU

THE controversial proposed sale of public beachfront land at Pandanus Parade in Cabarita Beach could realise more than the $5.2 million on offer by a developer, a Tweed councillor claimed.

Cr Steve Dale unsuccessfully moved to seek further legal advice on council's inability to remove covenants held by Resort Corp over the council-owned lots which restrict them to be used as a car park for the former adjoining hotel which the company is redeveloping.

Cr Dale said the sole legal advice over the covenants was sought from council lawyers "at the last minute" five weeks ago and questioned whether council had gone far enough in finding out if the covenants could be lifted.

He claimed that Resort Corp paid about $14 million for the 5490sq/m site of the old Cabarita Beach Hotel nearly two years ago, and given the property market had boomed in that time, council could reasonably expect more than the $5.2 million for the land, which was about half that size.

Cr John Murray accused Cr Dale of "time-wasting" and council should accept its lawyer's advice. But Cr Dale said he wanted to be sure that "if this is pushed through, the community would get the best possible price".

He said Resort Corp's valuation on the land was made by Gold Coast com- pany DTZ Australia Pty Ltd, which was listed as a donor to the re-election campaign earlier this year of the majority block of councillors, and the council-appointed valuer had been limited in its ability to value the land as it had been informed by council of the restricting covenants. Cr Dale's motion was defeated 4-6 (Crs Dale, Max Boyd, Barbara Carroll and Dot Holdom for, Cr Bob Brinsmead absented himself due to fam- ily interest).



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