UPDATE @ 3.00 PM | Gold Coast Council has voted against a motion to delay the controversial sale of the Bruce Bishop car park.
Surfers Paradise Councillor Gary Baildon put forward the motion at today’s City of Gold Coast council meeting.
It asked for them to “refrain from taking any action that may bind it to sell, lease, licence, or otherwise deal with the Bruce Bishop car park” until a Supreme Court application, filed by Save Surfers Paradise, “is determined by the court.”
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Save Surfers Paradise launched legal action in the Supreme Court in January to try and stop the proposed sale of the “valuable community asset” altogether.
Steering Committee Coordinator Deborah Kelly told myGC on Tuesday that it was very disappointing that council didn’t pass the resolution at today’s meeting.
“All we were asking for them to do was to defer action until the matter is dealt with by the court,” Ms Kelly said.
“So now they’re just forcing us to go to the Supreme Court to seek an interim injunction and to seek an order that our legal costs be paid by council.”
During today’s debate, Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate voluntarily exited the room, which Ms Kelly said was a wise move.
“He had no choice,” she said.
“In our view, he has a very clear material personal interest and he would have been committing a serious breach of the local government act if he stayed in there.”
Ms Kelly says the committee will now discuss the timing for lodging the injunction.
EARLIER @ 12.00pm | Gold Coast Council is expected to vote today on whether to delay the controversial sale of the Bruce Bishop car park.
Business and residential community representative group Save Surfers Paradise has launched legal action in the Supreme Court to try and stop the proposed sale altogether.
The group is alleging that council is in breach of trust and it’s statutory obligations, and may have engaged in misleading conduct.
They also say the council’s decision to sell the “valuable community asset” is “unreasonable” and is “contrary to public interest.”
Save Surfers Paradise Steering Committee Coordinator Deborah Kelly told myGC on Tuesday that it would be “more than irresponsible” for Council to go ahead with the sale while court action is pending.
Ms Kelly also added that “it’s important for people to understand that voting to delay doesn’t mean that the Council can’t still talk to potential purchasers for the site if they choose.”
“We’re simply saying don’t enter into contractual relations that bind the property, because when the Supreme Court comes down with its decision, which we think will favour our case and say the sale is invalid, we don’t want rate payers to be hit up with a big bill for compensation costs from a disappointed developer,” she said.
If the motion, being put forward by Surfers Paradise Councillor Gary Baildon, doesn’t succeed today, Ms Kelly said the group would be forced to seek further legal action.
“Save Surfers Paradise would be forced to go to the Supreme Court to seek an interim injunction and asking for those legal costs to be paid,” she said.
Meanwhile, new parking restrictions across the city are also infuriating the group, who are reinforcing the need to keep affordable parking in the heart of Surfers Paradise.
“Everywhere you look parking is being restricted and working people are being very badly affected by it,” Ms Kelly said.
“Casual Broadbeach workers can’t afford to pay for private parking and are now caught by three-hour on street restrictions and potentially $75 fines.”
Ms Kelly said the restrictions are “just madness”.
“Employers can’t have staff going out every three hours to move their cars!”
“Council have to have solutions for these issues.”
Gold Coast Councillors are expected to come to a decision on the possible delay of the Bruce Bishop car park sale at a council meeting at 1.00pm today.