Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney and Member for Gympie David Gibson.
Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney and Member for Gympie David Gibson.

Gympie agents say State Govt has let the region down again

GYMPIE region property heavyweights united for the first time in years yesterday to unanimously condemn the Newman Government's decision to give a Brisbane company the lucrative Mary Valley land contract.

Oliver Hume Real Estate will be the principal agent managing the open market sale of 50 Valley properties over the next 12 months, and possibly hundreds more over the next three years.

Gympie region agents say the State Government has let the region down yet again.

First, the Bligh Government seriously wounded the local economy when it imposed the Traveston Crossing dam debacle, and now the Newman Government has stuck the boot in by gifting a Brisbane real estate company - with no local knowledge or rural experience - the rights to 40-100% of the commission on the sale of those resumed properties.

Nine agencies have demanded a meeting in Gympie with Member for Gympie David Gibson, State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Minister Jeff Seeney and Mr Seeney's principal property manager, Matthew Levido.

Mr Seeney has agreed to a meeting with the agents in his office next Monday, but he won't be there.

Present will be his senior policy advisor, Mr Gibson and Mr Levido.

MR GIBSON is also chairman of the Mary Valley Economic Development Advisory Group.

Mr Seeney said yesterday he would be unable to attend the meeting as he will be in North Queensland at a Community Cabinet meeting.

Gympie agents yesterday unanimously rejected Mr Gibson and Mr Seeney's explanations for why Oliver Hume had beaten six Gympie region submissions to win the tender.

"If the government had no intention of awarding the deal to a local business why did it invite us all to make submissions - submissions which cost a great deal of time and money to put together?" the agents asked.

"We demand a face to face meeting with Mr Gibson and Mr Seeney and Mr Levido so they can give us a satisfactory explanation as to why every Gympie submission was rejected, despite the obvious wealth of local knowledge and more than 100 years combined experience in selling rural properties.

"All of the Mary Valley properties that have been sold so far involved Gympie region agents," they said.

"It is accepted within the real estate industry that the prime agent normally sells 65-75% of the portfolio. If this is the case in the Mary Valley, all that the Gympie regional community will be left with is crumbs.

"We do not accept the explanations the Government has come up with so far and until we are given a satisfactory explanation we cannot move forward or commit to this appalling decision.

"We believe the State Government should be supporting the Gympie region and Mary Valley economy and business sector.

"Our combined agencies employ more than 80 sales people who all live and spend money in this community, and that does not include administrative and support staff."

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