From the editor's desk

Whitsunday Times - - WHITSUNDAY VIEWS - Sharon Small­wood Editor

WHAT will be­come of Chi­na­town?

It’s been the ques­tion on ev­ery­one’s lips since coun­cil­lors voted against an ex­ten­sion for the de­vel­op­ment at a spe­cial meet­ing last week.

The man be­hind Whit­sun­day Chi­na­town In­vest­ment Pty Ltd, Mr Peter “Ray­mond” Wang has been over­seas while the threads of his pro­ject have un­rav­elled in the coun­cil board­room.

This week, deputy mayor An­drew Will­cox, whose cast­ing vote was used to veto an­other ex­ten­sion un­til Fe­bru­ary 17, has ex­plained his stance on the long-run­ning saga to date.

Some peo­ple un­doubt­edly blame Cr Will­cox for what they see as vot­ing down a $300 mil­lion de­vel­op­ment.

Some blame mayor Jen­nifer Whit­ney for step­ping out of the de­ci­sion-mak­ing process be­cause of a “per­ceived” con­flict of in­ter­est.

Oth­ers think the right de­ci­sion was made at the coun­cil ta­ble last week, with noth­ing tan­gi­ble to show for the pro­ject in over seven months.

Some peo­ple didn’t want a Chi­na­town in Air­lie Beach, while oth­ers were des­per­ately ad­vo­cat­ing for the jobs and eco­nomic pros­per­ity they hoped it would bring.

So who is right and who is wrong and what will hap­pen next?

Coun­cil’s lawyers have no doubt started pro­ceed­ings to ter­mi­nate the con­tract with WCI and there’s an ex­pec­ta­tion the land on Water­son Way will be put out to ten­der again.

Will Mr Wang re-ap­ply? Would he want to given what has oc­curred? Are there other de­vel­op­ers wait­ing in the wings?

It’s go­ing to be an in­ter­est­ing few weeks.

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