26 April, 2023
Council seeks commercial interest in new precinct
FOUR freehold lots may be sold in the Priors Creek area along a proposed new link road between Vernon and Jack Streets as Tablelands Regional Council seeks to get commercial investment in the proposed recreational precinct.
The council has decided to put out a call for Expressions of Interest (EOI) to gauge if there is interest from the private sector in developing the lots into a range of commercial enterprises and mixed-use short-term accommodation and residential units.
But if the exercise does not deliver, Cr David Clifton has warned that the project may be not viable.
“I’m happy to support council seeking input from commercial interests for participation because this project is not something that I believe should be carried by the ratepayers of Tablelands Regional Council alone. It needs genuine commercial input,” he said.
“The success of the EOI process will be important from my point of view to determining the future of the project.
“If we can’t get commercial funds involved, we have to really assess ...so I think this step is very important because if there is no genuine commercial response to this EOI then, from my perspective, there can be no project.”
He also cautioned council not to have high expectations for EOIs given the tough economic conditions currently being experienced.
“We know there are high interest rates and there is significant deteriorating economic circumstances throughout the world and in Australia, so we know commercial money is going to be tight,” he said.
Cr Peter Hodge explained why council had chosen to ask for EOIs instead of going out for a full tender.
“It in the best interests of council that we go out and get Expressions of Interests because if we go to full tender and get none, then we have wasted all that time, effort and money – that’s the main reason,” he said.
The council will now appoint a real estate agent who will work with them on the sale of the freehold lots including assisting with the assessment of the EOIs received and if that process uncovers potential commercial proponents, a short list will be developed, with the selected companies then asked to submit a full tender.