$500,000 pumped in to venue to keep bid afloat

The Courier-Mail - - NEWS -

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.

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