Valley land deal snubs Gympie agents
THE State Government has spurned Gympie real estate agents and handed a lucrative contract to market its Mary Valley properties to a Brisbane real estate group that appears to have no local knowledge or expertise in rural property sales.
The Oliver Hume Real Estate Group will be the principal agent managing the open market sales of 50 Valley properties over the next 12 months, with an option to renew its contract and to provide real estate sales services for the tenant purchase scheme and economic development divestment on another 300 Valley properties.
Furious local agents were in disbelief yesterday and demanded the State Government justify such a "questionable" decision.
A spokesman for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Minister Jeff Seeney said Oliver Hume had proven it was in the best position to engage impartially with all conjuncting Gympie agents.
Spokesman John Wiseman said there had been six submissions from Gympie and three from Brisbane.
"Two were short-listed as they clearly demonstrated previous experience in providing co-ordinated sales and market services for large-scale portfolios," Mr Wiseman said.
An evaluation panel which included an independent probity auditor awarded the principal agent contract to Oliver Hume.
Oliver Hume was selected because its submission demonstrated:
A comprehensive understanding of the project requirements;
A full appreciation of the sensitivities of the task;
A well-structured team responsible for providing sales and marketing services;
An equitable and proactive process for engaging with conjuncting real estate agents.
"The use of conjuncting local agents was a significant requirement of the tender process as was a requirement that conjuncting agents receive 60% of the commission - conditions Oliver Hume accepted.
"As an agency without a local presence Oliver Hume is in a position to engage with all local agents in an impartial manner and will rely heavily on local conjuncting agents to achieve the sales performance required by government on the project."
Member for Gympie David Gibson also stressed the importance of the principal agent's independence.
"Whilst it is disappointing that no local real estate businesses were successful in obtaining the principal agent contract, one of the criteria was that that the principal agent had to be independent and ensure that all local Gympie agents were able to be involved in the sales process," Mr Gibson said.
"I'm told that one of the strong considerations in awarding of the contract to Oliver Hume Real Estate was their specific business model that was inclusive to all outside agencies.
"What this means is that local agents will not miss out on being able to be involved in the sale of Mary Valley properties as they will be able to conjunct on sales and that these agents will receive the majority of the sales commission.
"It is my understanding that the role of the principal agent is more of a project manager than a direct sales agent and as such requires a different set of skills to liaise with government departments and Oliver Hume Real Estate were able to show their experience in this area."