'Boom is over': Council errs at property sale
A CRYSTAL ball would be a wonderful thing to have but, erring on the side of caution, the council has opted not to sell two units it owns in Agnes Water.
The council was presented with a list of properties considered surplus to its requirements and, although the units are vacant, the council has proposed to sit on the Discovery Dr property with the hope prices will improve.
The decision, at a meeting on Tuesday, caused some conjecture in the council chambers, with councillor Chris Trevor saying the money from the sale should be put towards building an additional car park at Agnes Water to ease congestion in the town.
Although Cr Trevor said he did not usually agree with the sale of public assets, he was concerned that if another car park was not built, locals and holidaymakers may be "maimed or seriously injured".
"It's impossible to know when to hold 'em and fold 'em (but) the mineral resources boom is over," Cr Trevor said.
"Given the fiscal constraints we face we have to look at the sale of assets to help our bottom line ... the world has changed forever and we need to look at alternative (revenue streams).
"If we keep banking assets ... we won't be able to provide a car park to Agnes Water."
But Mayor Matt Burnett said money coming into the council's coffers would go into the general reserve and would not be pigeon holed for individual projects.
Despite the report presented to councillors stating that property prices in Agnes Water had "held up far better than other parts of the region", the council proposed not to sell the two units given the state of the market.
Cam Realty, Agnes Water, director Cam Rodgers said the council had made the right decision to hold off putting the units on the market.
"The decision to wait 12 months is a good idea because there is enough property around for people to get at the moment," Mr Rodgers said.
"If it was a big parcel (of land) they could put that on the market but you need a crystal ball.
"Being at the coalface, and with my rental business growing quickly with the demand of rentals being solid, prices should stay solid in Agnes Water."
Cr Burnett said he was not convinced now was the right time to sell.
In the same meeting the council proposed to sell four blocks of land it owned at Ubobo to encourage growth in the region.
Cr Burnett did not care if the properties sold at a loss.
"I just want people to move in there," he said.