LNP may remove community assets from port deal

AN article by The Observer about the uncertain future of the Port Curtis Sailing Club has resulted in politicians pledging assurances about our community assets under a possible LNP state government.

Treasurer Tim Nicholls on Tuesday committed to preserving and maintaining Gladstone's community assets if his government was re-elected.

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It comes off the back of a statement from Premier Campbell Newman on the weekend, however, suggesting that the LNP won't deliver on local election promises if the local LNP candidate is not voted in.

Gladstone LNP candidate Michael Duggan said the announcement was a guarantee from the Treasurer that would be committed to if the LNP was elected on Saturday.

If the ALP is elected to state government on Saturday, that party has already given its assurances it will not lease state assets - including the port.

The LNP had distanced itself from the subject following its decision to pursue a 99-year lease of the port.

Mr Duggan told The Observer on Tuesday that all community assets including parklands at East Shores, the marina and Spinnaker Park as well as the sailing club, would be removed from any port lease deal and kept under state ownership.

Mr Duggan said the government would make sure the areas were maintained to their current standards, which included the ports corporation itself.

"We will keep in mind the strict conditions on safety, the environment, and maintenance," he said.

"Just like an investment property, they will have signed a lease and that lease can be cancelled."

Mr Duggan said GPC had an asset transaction team doing its best to ensure the lease would be foolproof.

Labor candidate Glenn Butcher questioned a government's ability to maintain community areas.

"The port of Gladstone is still up for sale. That's 850 employees whose jobs are still on the line and their location is under jeopardy," he said.

"Separating the port from the marina and parklands, who's going to maintain it all? Who's going to be the end payer?

"It takes $10 million a year to mow the grass out there and keep all the infrastructure together."

Independent Craig Butler has also offered his support for the sailing club.

Club secretary manager Brian Dawson said the sailing club committee had spent an hour speaking with Mr Duggan.

"We're looking at it in the best possible light, but it's a work in progress," he said.

Mr Dawson said it was clearer from the discussions that the club would be able to negotiate directly with the Government for a Deed of Grant in Trust.

"It is currently a heritage building, but we want a DoGiT to protect our operation for the future."

Neither Independent Craig Butler nor Greens candidate Craig Tomsett could be contacted before deadline.



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