Vince Smith still treasures the town’s original pub that he lived in for 22 years.
Vince Smith still treasures the town’s original pub that he lived in for 22 years. Toni McRae

Council-owned land up for sale

VALUABLE council-owned land in historic Burrum Town is finally closing in on the tender process.

And thrilled at the news that has emerged from a confidential council meeting earlier this month is Burrum Chamber of Commerce president Bill Gosewisch.

“This is excellent news for Howard and Burrum district because we have been creating a ruckus for almost seven years about getting council to sell off this land,” Mr Gosewisch said yesterday.

“We want Howard and Burrum sewered properly instead of the current situation of a handful of businesses having sewerage and everyone else on septic or biolytic systems, the latter of which cost around $12,000 to install.

“Council owns some 350 blocks in Burrum Town, between 900 and 1100sqm each, and those blocks form 90 per cent of the town itself.”

In the council's confidential meeting on September 15, councillor Les MucKan, seconded by mayor Mick Kruger, moved that “Waylance P/L and Wide Bay District Developments be invited to present to council their proposed developments for the Burrum Town land, and following these presentations, council delegates authority to the CEO to invite formal tenders from one or none of the companies”.

The motion was carried unanimously.

Waylance shows up on the Australian Securities and Investments Commission as being registered since 2003 with its office at Albion in Brisbane.

Wide Bay District Developments has been registered since 2004 and has its office at Torbanlea. The Chronicle understands that proactive Burrum Chamber of Commerce member Henry Sapieca is behind the company.

The council owns some 500 blocks across the Howard-Burrum Town area and each is worth an estimated minimum of $60,000.

The blocks outside Burrum Town are mostly in Thomas Street and on the Burrum River Road.

“If council sold all these blocks they could make $750 from each a year on unimproved capital value,” Mr Gosewisch said.

Retired Tiaro police officer Vince Smith, who lived in Burrum Town in the original 1883-1915 Golden Fleece Hotel from 1984 to 2006, and who successfully advocated the name change from Burrum, still nurtures fond memories of the little village that was first settled in 1863.

“In spite of my approaches to the then councillors over the period, the council determined that their name preference would be Old Burrum Town, and this would be the council's submission to the Department of Natural Resources. On February 4, 1999, Burrum became Burrum Town.

“As long as developers preserve its strong sense of history, it would be timely for council to sell off its land here.”

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