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Civic land may be sold

UNDER-UTILISED parkland and open space could be sold off by the Southern Downs Regional Council as part of a major review of surplus council property.

Acting chief executive officer Andrew Ireland has confirmed the work was part of the council's review of its "operations and efficiencies", saying a review of parkland was the first stage, leading into an overall assessment of surplus property.

While Mr Ireland said the council was unable to be specific about a timeframe he said all of the council's parkland and open space would be subject to review.

"This will involve inspections by councillors," Mr Ireland said yesterday.

"Any decision in relation to retention or otherwise of council's parkland and open space will be made following those inspections and subsequent council discussions.

"A matrix is being formulated that will be used in conjunction with these inspections to aid council's decision-making process."

Plans to sell off surplus council property have been on the table for several years, after more than half a million dollars worth of holdings were offloaded in 2008 to help offset Warwick Shire Council's $3.65 million purchase of Slade Campus in 2007.

Further land sales to residential developers were shelved due to council concerns over vacant land market saturation at the time.

One option looked at was the sale of the former Rosenthal Shire depot on Willi St, which houses groups such as the Warwick Woodcrafters and Rainbow FM.

Mr Ireland said the depot's future would also be reviewed as "a normal part of council's overall asset review process".

"Similar inspections to those for parkland and open space will be conducted by council," Mr Ireland said.

"Any decision relating to any of council's landholdings that involve lessees will be made in consultation with those lessees."

Surplus property previously sold by the council includes sites at Ford Road at Rosenthal Heights and on Weewondilla Road at Glennie Heights.

Those sales raised $550,000 in 2008, with the council itself one of the biggest landowners in the region, holding a wide range of residential, rural and industrial parcels potentially worth millions on the open market.

Topics:  parkland, southern downs regional council, warwick


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