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August 7th 2009
State dumps City Pacific
On August 3 City Pacific, the company which has been planning the $1 billion Townsville Ocean Terminal (TOT), went into receivership and, as a consequence, the State Government has terminated their development agreement.
Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Stirling Hinchliffe said City Pacific's financial difficulties meant it was no longer in the interests of the state or the project to pursue development through the existing agreement.
"Recent days have shown there is now little prospect of the project proceeding through so the State has subsequently exercised its right to terminate the development agreement.
"Since 2006 the state has been working with City Pacific on the company's plans for a $1 billion integrated residential and commercial development which would have featured a new shipping terminal.
"However, late yesterday (Wednesday 5 Aug) my department wrote to both parties to highlight it is not in the interests of the state or the project to pursue this development through the current agreement.
"Despite this setback we will look at all available options to determine a way forward for an ocean terminal for Townsville,'' Mr Hinchliffe said.
"In fact I met with Townsville MPs Mandy Johnstone, Lindy Nelson-Carr and Craig Wallace today to commence just that.''
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State dumps City Pacific
Well I'll be stuffed. The sky has fallen down after all. However, let's not stop here. Before those local politicians hatch another Old Mate's plan with the minister, let's put the heat on all of them, right up to Premier Bligh, to lift the Special Development status off the project and rescind that 2006 legislation which exempts this specific site from public oversight under the Integrated Planning Act (IPA) and the Judicial Review Act. That was always dodgy dealing and Anna Bligh had personal carriage of it while she was Treasurer and Deputy Premier. By all means, start a process of engaging the Townsville community in a debate about the future development of transport and tourism infrastructure including increasing the capacity and diversity of the Port of Townsville. But let's stop pretending that it is desirable or even possible to slip a monstrous, high risk, unsustainable and likely stupid high density canal estate under the communal radar at a time of acute carbon consciousness and financial restraint.