How very generous of the Queensland state government to put up the money for a purpose-built NRL stadium if the Gold Coast City Council provides the land for free. The state government has said that it should be at Robina, near the train station, instead of redeveloping the existing stadium at Carrara. GCCC currently doesn’t own the land at Robina but, hey, let’s just buy it.
Everyone says collectively hooray, especially the News Ltd titles such as The Courier Mail. However now the NRL has said yes to the Gold Coast for the 16th team, and the GCCC has discovered the owners of the various empty parcels of land needed for the new stadium and is rubbing its hands with glee and doubling its prices. So GCCC has started negotiations and a somewhat weakened position, and is likely to pay way too much otherwise it will be seen to be the stick in the mud in getting the 16th team to the Gold Coast.
But here is the catch: who is the owner of the majority of land in the area needed for the stadium? The QIC of course! That is the Queensland Investment Corporation – the state government’s own investment vehicle! The government is going to clean up on land that it was having trouble getting rid of in the first place. So while Queensland Labor gives with one hand, it take away with two hands. The losers: GCCC residents who have to fork out all the funding for the team while the Qld state government gets all the pats on the back.
CRIKEY: While not for a moment suggesting there is any connection, it would be interesting to know how much, if anything, Peter Beattie was paid by Rupert Murdoch’s publishing arm Harper Collins, to produce his premature autobiography. We do know that the Beattie government has committed to build the $100 million stadium with taxpayer funds so that the $9 billion man can recover some of his losses on the Super League fiasco. Don’t expect The Courier-Mail to editorialise against Peter Beattie any time soon.
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Meanwhile, another Gold Coast developer writes:
Queensland Labor MP for Gaven, Robert Poole and Gold Coast City Councillor for Division 5, Peter Young, were both photographed before the last Queensland state election in front of the giant “Coming Soon” Westfield shopping centre sign at the greenfields site at Helensvale.
The locals of Helensvale had been promised by both the MP and Labor leaning councillor for years that they would get their shopping centre at Helensvale. In fact it was a big part of Robert Poole’s local re-election campaign with the Liberal candiate contending that it was all smoke and mirrors.
Well, the good folk at Helensvale are soon to be disappointed by the news that Westfield executives have been in secret discussions with the group which currently owns the land around the proposed Coomera town centre, a suburb quite a distance to the north of Helensvale. Good for Coomera but much anger and gnashing of teeth from Helensvale residents is soon to follow.