State lost $220m on buyback

QUEENSLAND is losing $30 million a year in interest on houses bought by the state government during the failed Traveston Dam proposal.

In response to a question from Gympie MP David Gibson, parliament heard on Thursday how the state had lost $220 million in the Mary Valley home buyback.

State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Minister Jeff Seeney, who visited the area last week, said the figures should send a cold shiver down the spines of Queenslanders trying to get infrastructure for their communities.

"The decisions made are still having a profound effect on the community and the economy of the whole region and certainly the communities of the Mary Valley," he said.

"(The government spent) $445 million of public money buying (478) properties in the Mary Valley, tearing the heart out of the communities there.

"They spent $445 million that would be sorely needed now to rectify some of the situations right across Queensland.

"Currently the government still owns 469 of those properties.

"At current valuation those properties are worth $225 million.

"So you and I and every person we represent collectively has lost $220 million because of this single incompetent decision.

"The interest on the debt runs to some $30 million per annum, the rental income is just $3 million.

"From the visit I made to the Mary Valley last week, the strong opinion of local people is that the properties continue to depreciate.

"I will be working closely with the Member for Gympie, the local mayor Ron Dyne and the community up there to put an end to this debacle, to restore the life to local Mary Valley communities."



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