SDRC able to sell land to dam project

Acting Prime Minister and National Leader Michael McCormack, Federal Maranoa MP David Littleproud, members of the Stanthorpe and Granite Belt Chamber of Commerce and Southern Downs MP James Lister at the government's funding announcement on Emu Swamp Dam.

By Jess Baker

Southern Downs Regional Council has been granted an exemption to dispose of a lot of land so that it may be inundated by a dam proposed for the Granite Belt – Emu Swamp Dam.

SDRC CEO Dave Burges told Warwick and Stanthorpe Today that the council would usually have to go through an open tender process to sell an asset, but it applied for and received an exemption from the Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning Steven Miles.

A letter addressed to Mr Burges from Director-General of the Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning Damien Walker was tabled at the council’s 9 June ordinary meeting.

It noted that Minister Miles had written to Mayor Vic Pennisi to advise of his approval for an exemption for the council from the auction and tender requirements for the disposal of the council-owned land.

The lot, located at 365 Emu Swamp Road, Nundubbermere, was granted the exemption subject to a number of conditions.

Conditions included that the property is only offered to Emu Swamp Dam project proponent Granite Belt Water and for “no less than its current offer of $341,000”.

The director general stated it was also non-negotiable that a report detailing the independent property valuation, the name of the purchaser, the price of the sale, the details of the land, and how the council decided that the transfer “provides value for money for the community” be tabled at a council meeting prior to the finalisation of the sale of the property.

The report and supporting documents must also be made available via the council’s website.

Mr Burges said the exemption by the minister to sell the block of land is an example of one of the many matters the council must ‘resolve’, take back to council, and ‘tick off’ its Emu Swamp Dam to-do list.

The matter is likely to be tabled at the council’s 23 June ordinary meeting.