Philip Street bushland state still unknown
By ALLAN McNEILallanm@gladstoneobserver.com.au
FURTHER confusion regarding the sale of Philip Street bushland has delayed fundraising for the community to buy the controversial land.
Gladstone City Council agreed to purchase the land in March last year after more than 10 years of debate following initial plans to develop the land.
The agreement would see the council buy the land at a reduced rate of $750,000 from the Department of Public Works, Housing and Racing.
A community group wanting to keep the land in its natural state would then fundraise $150,000 a year for five years to purchase the land back off the council.
However, since confirming the details of the sale in January this year, the council has been waiting for confirmation from the department so the fundraising could take place.
Yesterday, council chief executive Julie Reitano said the State Government had not yet finalised the sale so neither it or the community group were able to pursue the matter.
However, a Department of Public Works, Housing and Racing spokesperson yesterday said the department had finalised the sale a number of weeks ago by writing to council's solicitors.
Spokesperson for the community group David Caffin has said in the past that the group is powerless to start fundraising for the bushland until the council officially takes ownership and declares how the land will be used.
Gladstone City Councillor Gail Sellers said the council definitely had not seen any documentation confirming the sale.