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Closed meeting on Caloundra South shortfall under fire

CONTROVERSIAL VISION: An artist’s impression of Caloundra South, which will be the subject of a closed meeting discussing a developer’s potential multi-million dollar funding shortfall.
CONTROVERSIAL VISION: An artist’s impression of Caloundra South, which will be the subject of a closed meeting discussing a developer’s potential multi-million dollar funding shortfall. Contributed

A RESIDENTS' group has called for the doors to be opened on a closed meeting discussing a developer's potential multi-million dollar funding shortfall.

Residents Association South Sunshine Coast has written to all Sunshine Coast councillors highlighting its "strongest objection" Caloundra South will be discussed in a closed meeting on June 15.

President Ian Smyth said the group estimated the development by Stockland will have a "$500 million funding shortfall".

Stockland has consistently denied any shortfall, highlighting provisions for land for schools, roads and other services.

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It has also pledged $300 million for its 20,000 home project.

Mr Smyth didn't believe all costs would be recovered.

"This shortfall has been identified for quite some time," he said.

He said while some discussions around the development could be discussed in private, the shortfall issue "needs to be fully discussed in the open arena".

WE SAY: 'User pays' put to the test in Caloundra South talks

Caloundra councillor Tim Dwyer agreed parts of the meeting should be held in public for transparency.

"I believe if we took the time to disseminate information in our reports a bit more, we would be able to work out what could be released to the public," he said.

"We are a mature enough council for officers to find a better way.

"With issues that have so much interest, it would be good if we could get some information out."

A council spokesman said the report was "confidential" and in closed session in accordance with the Local Government Regulation.

"It contains information relating to other business for which a public discussion would be likely to prejudice the interests of the local government or someone else, or enable a person to gain a financial advantage," he said.

Mr Smyth said "all infrastructure costs" should be borne by the developer and not passed on to the council.

"Why should Stockland financially benefit from Caloundra South to the financial detriment of residents?" he asked.

He called on councillors to take a "firm stance".

Topics:  caloundra south funding stockland sunshine coast council



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