Land sale cleared

By Mitch Gaynor

A PARCEL of land in the Maleny Community Precinct has been sold by the Sunshine Coast Council to a developer who plans to build retirement living housing.

A council meeting earlier this month passed a motion to sell an 8,223sqm parcel of land to the owner of an adjacent block, Ross Kenneally, for $850,000.

The move was opposed by some Maleny locals who were concerned the sale should have gone to tender and the sale price undervalued the land.

But an independent valuation found the land was worth $780,000, and the council insisted the developer pay above that amount.

At its ordinary meeting on May 26, councillors heard that it was not practical to auction the parcel as it was landlocked and could not be developed by anyone other than the adjacent property owner.

It was also proposed, and agreed, for council to purchase a smaller parcel of land off the developer to provide further infrastructure including sewerage services.

The move had infuriated residents including Marek and Libby Malter who had written to Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson and councillors expressing their “dismay and disgust” at the proposed sale.

“Public land should be sacrosanct and under no circumstances be traded off for development particularly without proper community consultation and public transparency,” they wrote.

Division 5 Councillor Winston Johnston said the sale price was above valuation and that there were no alternatives to the sale.

“The only viable way of development of the land is to sell it to the adjoining property owner,” said Cr Johnston adding he would push to use the sale proceeds for infrastructure services.

Cr Johnston said the purchase of Lot 2 – for $130,000 – was agreed to allow council options for future infrastructure development.

“In the future if we’re going to put in an amenities block for people that walk the pathway and use the facilities, they have got to have water and sewerage access,” Cr Johnston said.

Developer Cloudwalk Estate issued a statement saying: “Discussion occurred over a number of years leading to Council and Cloudwalk agreeing to appoint independent valuers who in January 2022 agreed the market value of the land based on likely development costs, land sales and comparable development sites.The valuation considers the high costs associated with providing the land with connections to infrastructure (roads and services), which impacts the overall value.”

The statement said Cloudwalk agreed to pay a premium above market value and intends to lodge a development application for retirement focused living following completion of the transaction. “There is currently a strong need in Maleny for retirement living housing which is our intention to pursue,”
it read.