The sale of the Bulimba Barracks has been pushed back into the first half of 2018, despite a 2017 commitment by the federal government.
In 2015, the ADF confirmed they would be selling the 20-hectares of the 23-hectare riverfront site. The Brisbane City Council formally endorsed the master plan of the area in February 2017.
Fairfax reported that the sales delay was possibly in part to the by-election that took place late last year and ended in 2018 after long-serving Labor councillor Shayne Sutton resigned from his post in October 2017.
After the news, federal Labor MP Terri Butler reportedly contacted Dan Tehan during his time as the Defence Personnel Minister, inquiring about the sale which was anticipated to hit the open market in late 2017.
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Information sighted by journalists revealed that Butler requested that Tehan provided an assurance that the property “will not be offered for sale on the open market and that no steps will be taken towards offering the property, until after that by-election has been on 20 January 2018, and the election of a new councillor has occurred.”
It was a move condemned by Brisbane City Council as planning chairman Julian Simmonds chalked the suggestion up to nothing more than political games.
An ADF spokesperson said it was anticipated the Bulimba Barracks would be listed for sale on the open market in the first half of 2018, but denied the by-election delayed the sale.
In a statement on the sale, they said the ADF was progressing its “due diligence activities for sale of the site” at the time of the by-election, so the information was available to prospective purchasers prior to the site being listed for sale.
“This process is in the final stages of completion with a concurrent process for the appointment of a real estate agent in late February 2018,” they said.
Council adopted the Bulimba Barracks Master Plan in 2017, preparing for future development on the site which will eventually include a mix of housing and unit types, new road and infrastructure networks and retail, business, commercial and community uses.