Government offers agents olive branch
GYMPIE'S real estate fraternity has not finished with the State Government bureaucrats who handed a lucrative Mary Valley contract to a Brisbane property group, and who fronted an angry gathering of nine agencies in Gympie late on Wednesday.
Unsatisfied with the government's explanation as to why Oliver Hume Real Estate beat six Gympie submissions for the principal agent's contract to market 50 Traveston dam properties over the next year, simmering tensions spilled over more than once from frustrated local agents around the Skillcentred boardroom table.
Mary Valley Economic Development chairman and Member for Gympie David Gibson organised the meeting at the agents' request.
It was attended by several top bureaucrats from State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Minister Jeff Seeney's department, including principal property manager Matthew Livido and deputy director general of government land and asset management, Damien Walker.
Mr Gibson said he had been "bitterly disappointed" in the decision to award the contract to Oliver Hume, and in the way he and the Gympie agents were informed of that decision.
The agents received a short letter from Mr Levido.
Mr Gibson received nothing.
"The first I heard about it was from The Gympie Times. I don't ever want to see something like this ever happen again," he said, looking directly at the bureaucrats.
"I looked like a fool. I do not like looking like a fool."
While the agents kept trying to steer discussion back to why they had missed out on the contract and the unfairness of the application's criteria, the government representatives kept trying to steer it towards the future, asking how they could better equip Gympie agents with the skills to submit a successful government ITO (invitation to offer).
Suggestions of workshops were made, and Mr Walker said his department would definitely do things differently next time. But he said it was too late now to reverse the Oliver Hume decision as the contract had already been signed.
"That ship has sailed," the agents were told.
Another meeting between the two groups is planned for the immediate future, and a consortium of Gympie agencies may be created to tender for two auctions of Valley land (a further 40 properties) the State intends to hold in Gympie before the end of the year.