Submissions open on land transaction proposal

Community members are being invited to contribute their feedback on two proposed land transactions between:

1) The Shire of Dardanup and the Minister of Lands;
2) The Shire of Dardanup and Citygate.

The proposal will see the Shire buy the current Shire Administration building site from the Minister of Lands for $1, and will then sell the land to Citygate for $5m plus 3,000sqm of land in freehold.The two transactions will enable construction of a new three-story civic building to house a library, Shire administration offices, commercial space and other community spaces next to Eaton Fair’s planned town square.

“This is an extremely positive opportunity for the Shire of Dardanup and we are very thankful to the Minister of Lands who granted in-principle support for the transaction back in 2018,” Shire President Mick Bennett said.

“By getting the 3,000sqm of land in Freehold, it means that Council will own the new building and not be required to pay any rental fees on the land.”
As to why a new building was needed, Cr Bennett explained the Shire’s Eaton Library Services currently operated within an Eaton Community College building under an agreement which will end in December 2023.

Additionally the current Shire of Dardanup Administration Centre does not comply with modern-day building standards. Various options to upgrade or expand resulted in greater forecast expense than this proposal in the longer term.

Cr Bennett said the timing to get the ball rolling on the project was also ideal with the State Government encouraging fast-tracking of opportunities like this that would help stimulate the economy post-Covid.

The land transaction proposal has created an opportunity to provide access for the community to significant new facilities and shared spaces under an extremely efficient business model. The new building is expected to cost approximately $16 million and will be funded via:

• $5m from reserves (previous land transactions and savings over time);
• $6m from borrowings (new loan from State government); and
• $5m from proceeds of Citygate land sale.

Council is also actively pursuing grants to assist with funding of the building with the aim to reduce the need for reserve funds and/or borrowings.

The opportunity to lease out some commercial space included within the project proposal also contributes to a medium to long-term financial benefit for Council, without imposing any significant impact on the private sector.

Commercial space included in the proposal will make up only a tiny proportion of available commercial space within the overall Eaton Fair Activity Centre Precinct.

Public submissions are invited and can be emailed to records@dardanup.wa.gov.au

> Read the full 2020 May – Proposal – Major Land Transaction Lot 601 – Full

Submissions close on 6 July 2020 at 4.00pm.