$500,000 pumped in to venue to keep bid afloat
veal more than $500,000 was subsequently pumped into the museum by the Government to help keep the venue and the doomed bid afloat.
That came after the museum wrote to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk “advising of possible closure and withdrawal from the MLP”, citing financial distress.
LNP leader Deb Frecklington accused the Government of waiting until after the state election to reveal the plan was doomed. “Labor ministers couldn’t wait to tell voters about their exciting aquarium plan, but when it rapidly fell to pieces they didn’t say a word,” she said. “Voters, especially those in South Brisbane, should have been told the truth about this project before they went to the polls.”
State Development Minister Cameron Dick said the timing of the withdrawal was a matter for those behind the aquarium proposal.
“It was the decision of the proponent to submit the MLP, and to withdraw it. Those deci- sions, and their timing, are a matter for them,” he said.
Mr Dick has overhauled the MLP process to focus on companies that “have a demonstrated history of taking projects from proposal to action”. The aquarium proposal was announced by the Government with great fanfare in March 2016.
It was eventually scrapped in July last year.
The new documents shed further light on the now-defunct proposal.
These include revelations bureaucrats raised further doubts the aquarium would go ahead in a ministerial briefing note almost a year before it was finally declared a washout and again on September 28, 2017, a month before the state election was called.