Prime property resumptions ‘for the greater good’
A decision “for the greater good of the community” means the council will press on with compulsory land acquisitions to pave the way for a long-awaited transport upgrade.
Councillors unanimously voted in favour of pushing ahead with the acquisitions as part of the Stage 4 works for Brisbane Rd upgrades in Mooloolaba.
All councillors except Mayor Mark Jamieson, who was absent with other commitments, voted in favour at Thursday’s ordinary meeting in Caloundra.
The commercial properties at 21 Bindaree Cres, 101 and 103 Brisbane Rd, were required by the council to allow for road widening as part of the major works to upgrade the main entry point to the popular tourist beach.
Councillors heard that negotiations were ongoing with the owners and they would continue once notices of intention to resume were issued.
Officers told councillors the council required vacant possession of the properties by mid to late next year to enable demolition before road construction started in 2023.
“Ultimately we have to make a decision for the greater good of the community,” Division 4 councillor Joe Natoli said.
He called for compassion from the council, even as the acquisition negotiations progressed and deadlines drew nearer.
Division 3 councillor Peter Cox said Stage 4 was “quite an important part of the process” as the main entry point and he added the properties in question were commercial buildings, not people’s homes.
He said the project had been earmarked for the past 18 years and it had just been a matter of timing for the works to roll out.
Division 10 councillor David Law noted his support and said he was also glad the discussion was able to be held in open session of the meeting, rather than a closed-doors debate.
Fellow hinterland councillor Winston Johnston sought clarity on whether it was more advantageous for owners to have their properties resumed rather than privately acquired.
Officers responded that they were paying owners as if they were acquiring properties, so they were entitled to legal fees and other associated costs.
Councillors voted unanimously to support the officer’s recommendations to proceed with compulsory acquisition, while negotiations also continued privately with property owners.