Mayor responds to critics of Engineers Arms venture
UPDATE: MAYOR Gerard O'Connell has responded to suggestions Anne Nioa's CBD consultancy role helped her purchase Engineers Arms.
Cr O'Connell said Ms Nioa's company Strategic Nous was not contracted to develop a business plan or model for the old pub on March St.
"Strategic Nous was commissioned to go over existing strategies and master plans developed for the Maryborough CBD to determine which reports were still valid and which recommendations still needed implementation as part of the Imagine This City program," he said.
"She also helped implement beautification works to ensure the city was ready after the floods for the visitors during the Ulysses AGM event and Campervan and Motorhome Association rally in April.
"The final Imagine this City report contained a myriad of recommendations - one of which was that a compendium of all significant buildings available for rent or purchase be catalogued and highlighted to prospective investors coming to council for information.
"An example of what a compendium would look like using the Engineers Arms was provided.
"This compendium example included information on address, land area, sale or lease, existing planning approvals and photos.
"Council did not commission Strategic Nous to develop a business plan or model for the Engineers Arms or any other building in the Maryborough CBD."
While the council has not specified what the contact was worth, it was believed to have been around $30,000.
EALIER: ANNE Nioa has hit back at critics suggesting her former role as a Fraser Coast councillor helped her buy the Engineers Arms in Maryborough.
Ms Nioa, who is transforming the old pub into a gourmet food and beverage hub called Liqurious, said she bought the property directly from former owner Pat Formica.
She was inspired to do so after her company Strategic Nous was contracted by the council to review the Maryborough CBD urban planning schemes earlier this year.
It had been on the market for five years.
"This is a personal project for me," Ms Nioa said.
"It's been 18 months since I've been at the council ... any suggestion that that has anything to do with it is absolutely absurd."