Council has agreed to make an offer to the State Government to buy the former Tewantin TAFE.
Mayor Tony Wellington said staff were negotiating purchase of the 11-hectare property, which has sat dormant since the TAFE was closed by the LNP Government in 2014.
“Independent valuations have confirmed that the $1.7M price we’ve discussed with the State is very good value given the land’s size, location and environmental significance,” the Mayor said.
“A substantial proportion of the land contains endangered vegetation. So of course, Council is keen to ensure that this critical regional ecosystem is adequately protected. The property is also identified as koala, black-cockatoo and wallum rocketfrog habitat.”
“At present, the developed portion of the site amounts to one-and-a-half hectares containing four main buildings and parking for 95 vehicles. There are a range of potential uses for this facility that would provide broad community benefit.
“However, business cases will need to be developed to ensure that the site doesn’t become an on-going drain on Council resources. Plainly, we are aiming for the best possible outcome for the community.”
The Mayor said Council could also consider subdividing the site, then selling off the developed portion, while protecting the areas containing environmental significance.
Last night Council approved the purchase up to a cost of $1.7M, subject to successful negotiations with the State. The purchase may be funded from Council’s cash reserves, with some additional input from Environment Levy funds.
The Mayor acknowledged Noosa MP Sandy Bolton for her role. “Sandy has done a splendid job encouraging the State Government to come to the negotiation table,” he said. “Without her input, the ridiculous impasse could have dragged on a whole lot longer. And we know that many residents are keen to see the future of the facility finally resolved. The hiatus has gone on long enough.”