Green­vale still in sights

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - JOHN AN­DER­SEN john. an­der­sen@ news. com. au

THE Aus­tralian De­fence Force’s Sin­ga­pore army land deal at Green­vale is still very much alive.

Char­ters Tow­ers Mayor Liz Sch­midt says it still has “legs” de­spite what some anony­mous vested in­ter­ests want­ing to put pres­sure on the ADF are sug­gest­ing.

Aus­tralia- Sin­ga­pore Mil­i­tary Train­ing Ini­tia­tive busi­ness and com­mu­nity li­ai­son of­fi­cer Mick Reilly said the com­mer­cial ne­go­ti­a­tions with the Green­vale prop­er­ties were “on­go­ing”.

He said prop­erty agents were in­volved in the ne­go­ti­a­tions and talks were pro­ceed­ing. If the Green­vale talks do reach an im­passe, the fo­cus on land would move to Ravenswood where sta­tion own­ers keen to take part in the ne­go­ti­a­tions have banded to­gether.

Mr Reilly said no mat­ter what hap­pened at Green­vale, the ADF would in­vest in North Queens­land.

Sin­ga­porean mil­i­tary of­fi­cials ac­com­pa­nied by ADF of- SHOW­ERS and thun­der­storms are on the cards for parts of North Queens­land this week­end, with some de­cent falls al­ready recorded since Thurs­day night.

Rain cre­ated some havoc yes­ter­day as emer­gency ser­vices were called to re­ports of a car “aqua­plan­ing” north of Rolling­stone.

Queens­land Fire and Emer­gency Ser­vices and po­lice were called to the sin­gle- ve­hi­cle crash near Hen­camp Creek Rd about 8.30am.

A spokes­woman said no one was in­jured in the crash and traf­fic was not af­fected.

Fire­fight­ers were hop­ing for more rain to put out veg­e­ta­tion fires burn­ing in the Paluma Ranges and Pin­na­cles, with 14mm hav­ing fallen from 9am to 1pm at Par­adise La­goon.

Parts of Townsville and the Burdekin re­ceived some good falls, with Groper Creek get­ting the most at 13mm and Up­per Bar­rat­tas re­ceiv­ing 12mm.

A high chance of show­ers is fore­cast for to­day, with a chance of a shower or two to­mor­row and Mon­day.

The Bureau of Me­te­o­rol­ogy’s fore­cast shows an in­land trough will move slowly west­wards, with low level mois­ture spread­ing into the cen­tral and eastern in­land. fi­cers have al­ready vis­ited Hills­bor­ough, Mt Ravenswood and Old Glen Roy sta­tions in the Ravenswood dis­trict.

Old Glen Roy and Mt Ravenswood are neigh­bour­ing prop­er­ties which would guar­an­tee a large land area if a trans­ac­tion was to take place in this area.

Hills­bor­ough Sta­tion, about 10km east of Ravenswood, is about 30km from Mt Ravenswood Sta­tion by road.

There are other prop­er­ties in the Pent­land area still thought to be in the mix, but noth­ing g has been con­firmed.

The joint Sin­ga­pore- ADF ini­tia­tive in­volves at least 14,000 Sin­ga­pore troops train­ing in cen­tral and North Queens­land for 18 weeks a year for at least 25 years.

A KPMG re­port on the so­cio- eco­nomic im­pact of the ini­tia­tive found that un­der the ex­ist­ing plan, Townsville and Rockhampton would ben­e­fit from the mil­i­tary ini­tia­tive.

The re­port found Townsville would re­ceive $ 143 mil­lion in ad­di­tional in­vest­ment ex­pen­di­ture dur­ing each year of the seven- year devel­op­ment phase. The KPMG re­port stat- ed the op­er­a­tional phase – which is when sol­diers start us­ing the train­ing fa­cil­ity – would hap­pen in 2026.

Dur­ing the life of the train­ing fa­cil­ity, KPMG es­ti­mates that $ 36.2 mil­lion a year would be spent in Townsville.

Cr Sch­midt said she had re­ceived a guar­an­tee that Char­ters Tow­ers would be the first port of call for all goods and ser­vices needed at the base. She said this would in­clude ev­ery­thing from fruit and veg­eta­bles to earth­works, con­struc­tion and ma­chin­ery sup­plies.

“Un­der the terms of the ac- qui­si­tion both the Sin­ga­pore and ADF have to give Char­ters Tow­ers top pri­or­ity when it comes to the sup­ply of goods and ser­vices,” she said. “This is be­cause the train­ing area re­gard­less of if it is in Green­vale, Ravenswood or Pent­land is still in the Char­ters Tow­ers Re­gional Coun­cil area.”

The fi­nal train­ing plan has the sol­diers ro­tat­ing through in batches of 2000 and 4000.

De­fence has made it clear that any land and in­fra­struc­ture bought and built un­der the Aus­tralia- Sin­ga­pore Mil­i­tary Train­ing Ini­tia­tive would be owned by the Aus­tralian Govern­ment and would not be un­der Sin­ga­porean con­trol.

SUNNY DIS­PO­SI­TIONS: Saman­tha Buzzi, 19, and Chris­tine O'Reilly, 19, en­joyed the sun­shine while it lasted, at The Ville yes­ter­day. Pic­ture: SHAE BEPLATE

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