Chi­nese in­vestor pulls plug on Ma­rina deal

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

SYD­NEY- BASED de­vel­oper Grant Shang has pulled out of the con­trac­tual agree­ment to buy the Port Dou­glas Ma­rina be­cause of le­gal due dili­gence.

The con­di­tional sale was con­firmed ear­lier this month and Mr Shang had paid Meridien a de­posit, how­ever the sale has now fallen through.

Mr Shang, who devel­oped the world-fa­mous Shenyang Road An­tique Mar­ket in Tian­jin, north­east China, was look­ing at in­vest­ing in Aus­tralia for the first time.

It is un­der­stood Mr Shang planned to lever­age his pur­chase of the ma­rina to raise cap­i­tal from other overseas in­vestors to fund a pro­posed $300 mil­lion lux­ury bou­tique ho­tel, res­i­den­tial and ma­rina com­plex.

The Fed­eral Government’s new Sig­nif­i­cant In­vestor Visa scheme was a ma­jor in­cen­tive for Mr Shang be­cause it gave per­ma­nent en­try visas to in­di­vid­u­als in­vest­ing more than $5 mil­lion over four years and would have made his pro­posed devel­op­ment more at­trac­tive to overseas in­vestors.

The visa ini­tia­tive scraps re­quire­ments for overseas in­vestors to sit an English test, there are no age lim­its and fam­ily mem­bers are al­lowed to ap­ply for res­i­dency.

Port Dou­glas Ma­rina man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Rus­sell McCart said the ma­rina was never sold and re­fused to com­ment fur­ther.

But Tourism Think Tank Chair­man Don Mor­ris, who helped bro­ker the deal with Mr Shang, said there were ‘‘plenty of other po­ten­tial suit­ors’’ for the ma­rina and there was still a chance Mr Shang would re­turn to the ne­go­ti­at­ing ta­ble.

Mr Shang is overseas and un­avail­able for com­ment.

Mean­while, the mat­ter of con­vert­ing the ma­rina to free­hold has not been set­tled yet with the De­part­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources and Mines wait­ing to hear back from Meridien about the de­part­ment’s of­fers.

Meridien was granted an ex­ten­sion un­til April 30 to meet the de­part­ment’s of­fer.

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