Green light for Havengrand

Whitsunday Times front pages from September 10, 2009 and May 13, 2010.
Whitsunday Times front pages from September 10, 2009 and May 13, 2010.

WHITSUNDAY Regional Council will go ahead and buy Havengrand – the 95 hectare block of land at Mount Marlow for a future sports park.

However, Council will now pay $2.2 million – not the original price tag of $3.3 million.

This follows a decision at yesterday's Council meeting.

The vote was locked at 3-all until Deputy Mayor Cr Rogin Taylor used his casting vote.

Mayor Mike Brunker declared an interest and left the room during the discussion about the purchase.

GHD consultants released the final community consultation report to councillors on Monday but the report has not yet been released to the public.

The discussion about the report was on the agenda for yesterday's meeting as part of the closed session – meaning the public and the media were not going to hear the debate or the decision about the Havengrand land.

However, councillors voted unanimously early in the meeting to move the item into the open session.

Cr Taylor said the GHD report revealed 84.9 per cent of people believed a new multi-purpose sport and recreation complex was needed.

He also said the survey found 66.5 per cent favoured a site between Proserpine and Centro.

Cr Jennifer Whitney voted against the purchase and was less than impressed with the way it was handled.

“I totally want a green field space but I believe the way we have handled this has been in the worst possible way,” she said.

Havengrand shareholder Tony Price said shareholders made a decision to lower the price once community consultation had already begun.

"In three years time the people of the Whitsundays will say what a great decision council has made,” he said.

Whitsunday resident Peter Chengody has been lobbying against the purchase of a new sports park from the start of talks.

“I am devastated for the people of the township of Whitsundays,” he said.

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