2020 sale to Sunshine Coast Council

ORDINARY MEETING AGENDA 12 NOVEMBER 2020

8.9  ACQUISITION OF LAND CALOUNDRA

File No: F19/00262

Author: Project Development Officer Office of the CEO

PURPOSE

The purpose of this report is to seek Council’s endorsement to progress the acquisition of the Old Caloundra Lighthouses site located at 3 Canberra Terrace, Kings Beach, described as Lot 1 on RP135230. The purpose of the acquisition is to complement Council’s open space network.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Lighthouses precinct located at 3 Canberra Terrace, Kings Beach (Lot 1 RP135230) is owned by the State of Queensland, represented by the Department of Transport and Main Roads (Maritime Safety Queensland). The 868 m2 parcel is zoned Open Space and improved with two lighthouses; the original 1896 structure and its 1968 replacement. A generator shed that accompanied the 1968 lighthouse is also located on the site.

In December 2010, the Department of Transport and Main Roads (DTMR) issued a licence to occupy the Old Caloundra Lighthouses to Council for ‘Community and Tourism purposes” which expires on 7 December 2020. With the Department’s approval, Council issued a 3 year sub-licence to The Friends of Caloundra Lighthouses Incorporated (“The Friends”). This licence has been renewed twice, with the current licence due to expire on 6 December 2020. The Friends of Caloundra Lighthouses Inc (The Friends) are a not for profit organisation which promotes and operates the iconic lighthouse structures.

The subject property at 3 Canberra Terrace adjoins the Lions Park amenity reserve owned by Council, and the combined site forms part of the Council controlled Open Space network. The lighthouses are considered a symbol of Caloundra, the oldest lighthouse is one of the most important structures associated with the early development of Caloundra and as such has a strong and social significance for the Sunshine Coast Community. The property is listed on the Queensland Heritage Register and for the last 20 years the lighthouses have been a tourist attraction that has opened for tours.

In August 2019, the State of Queensland declared the property surplus to their requirements and as per the Queensland Government Land Transaction Policy (QGLTP) included it on the Government Land Register to offer it for sale to other State Government agencies and Council.

In November 2019, Council formally wrote to Department of Transport and Main Roads to request that consideration be given to transferring the property to Council at nil cost, as per the QGLTP Inter-Agency exemption. Department of Transport and Main Roads has recently advised Council that it agrees to the transfer of the property to Council in freehold for $1. This report therefore seeks authority to acquire this iconic community asset to ensure the preservation of the historical landmark and associated park.

OFFICER RECOMMENDATION That Council:

  1. (a)  receive and note the report titled “Acquisition of Land Caloundra” and

  2. (b)  delegate authority to the Chief Executive Officer to enter into negotiations, execute and finalise the acquisition of 3 Canberra Terrace, Caloundra, described as Lot 1 on RP135230 for open space purposes.

FINANCE AND RESOURCING

Department of Transport and Main Roads have agreed to transfer the property to Council for $1 as per the QGLTP Inter-Agency exemption. Council will be liable for paying stamp duty and transfer fees which will cost approximately $7,000 and is to be funded from the Open Space Network Management budget.

Funding will be required to undertake identified planned maintenance works over the next 10 years. Council’s Property Management Branch – Building and Facilities Asset Management Unit have estimated $160,500 will be required for these identified works. An additional $23,500 has been estimated for external expertise to conduct inspections and prepare reports on these maintenance items. Funding for condition assessment, engineering reports and subsequent works will form part of Capital Works Program development by Building and Facilities Asset Management Unit. However, it should also be noted that under the existing licence agreement between Council and Department of Transport and Main Roads, Council are already responsible for maintenance of the structures.

CORPORATE PLAN

Corporate Plan Goal: Outcome: Operational Activity:

CONSULTATION Councillor Consultation

Service excellence

We serve our community by providing this great service
S22 - Property management: comprehensive management of
Council’s land and building assets to ensure that Council’s property dealings are optimised, centrally managed, and support Councils objectives.

Division 2 Councillor T Landsberg has been consulted regarding this proposal. In addition, the relevant Portfolio Councillor Representatives have also been advised:

  •  Community Portfolio Councillors R Baberowski and D Law.

  •  Environment and Liveability Portfolio Councillors P Cox and M Suarez.

    Internal Consultation

  •  Coordinator Planning Scheme and Projects

  • Coordinator Cultural Heritage Services Team

  •  Building and Facilities Asset Manager

  •  Integrated Property Strategy T eam

  •  Coordinator Open Space and Social Policy

  • Legal Services

Savills (Valuers) have provided an estimate of market value for the property.

Community Engagement

There has been no specific community engagement undertaken in the preparation of this report.

PROPOSAL

The lighthouses precinct located at 3 Canberra Terrace, Kings Beach (Lot 1 RP135230) is owned by the State of Queensland, represented by the Department of Transport and Main Roads (Maritime Safety Queensland). Refer Figure 1- Location Map. The 868 m2 parcel is zoned Open Space and is improved with two lighthouses; the original 1896 structure and its 1968 replacement. A generator shed that accompanied the 1968 lighthouse is also located on the site.

Figure 1 - Location Map

The 1896 lighthouse (1 of 8 of this type in Queensland) and the 1968 lighthouse (1 of only 2 of this type in Australia) are both substantially intact examples of their type. (Refer Figure 2). They are important in demonstrating the evolution of lighthouse design in Queensland between the 1890s and 1970s, and offer a rare opportunity for close comparison. The site has significant aesthetic and landmark characteristics, and has a strong association to the development of Caloundra as a coastal settlement and early tourist destination.

The property is listed on the Queensland Heritage Register (QHR) and the listing identifies the significant elements and associations of the Caloundra Lighthouses site, its extant buildings, broader connections and stories. It also identifies the historical significance, the rarity of some of the structures, its aesthetic and landmark character, and its strong associations with the local community.

Figure 2 - Lighthouses Photograph

The QHR listing also notes the social significance for Sunshine Coast residents and tourists, being a symbolic and functional source of pride and identity for the region. It is one of only 34 Queensland heritage places on the Sunshine Coast.

Figure 3 Subject site at 3 Canberra Tce

The subject property at 3 Canberra Terrace adjoins the Lions Park amenity reserve owned by Council, and the combined site forms part of the Council controlled Open Space network. The site at 3 Canberra Terrace compliments this amenity reserve which is a cultural, park and community asset providing a range of highly valued activities. (Refer Figure 3).

In December 2010, Department of Transport and Main Roads issued a licence to occupy the Old Caloundra Lighthouses to Sunshine Coast Council for ‘Community and Tourism purposes” which expires on 7 December 2020. With Department of Transport and Main Roads’ approval, Council issued recurring 3 year sub-licence to Friends of Caloundra Lighthouses Incorporated (“The Friends”), with the current licence due to expire on 6 December 2020. A renewal of this sub-licence will be issued to The Friends upon an extension to the licence between the Department of Transport and Main Roads and Council (should the property not be transferred before expiry of the current licence), or a guarantee from Department of Transport and Main Roads of an extension to The Friends’ tenure until settlement of the contract.

The Friends contribute to the management and maintenance of the property. Over the last 20 years, Council and then subsequently The Friends, have opened the buildings to the public on a regular basis, for special purpose tourism and educational occasions.

The lighthouses are considered a symbol of the town, and the oldest lighthouse is one of the most important structures associated with the early development of Caloundra and as such has a strong and social significance for the Sunshine Coast Community. For the last 20 years the lighthouses have been a tourist attraction that has opened for tours.

It should also be noted that over the last 20 years Council has invested substantial resources and finances into the ongoing structural and cosmetic maintenance for the preservation of this landmark, including funding the $50,000 relocation and restoration of the old lighthouse from Golden Beach to its original site location at 3 Canberra Terrace.

In August 2019, the State of Queensland declared the property surplus to their requirements and as per the Queensland Government Land Transaction Policy (QGLTP) included it on the Government Land Register to offer it for sale to other State Government agencies and Council.

In November 2019, Council formally wrote to Department of Transport and Main Roads to request that consideration be given to the transfer of the property to Council at nil cost for open space purposes, as per the QGLTP Inter-Agency exemption. Since this time Council has been in discussions with Department of Transport and Main Roads, including providing further information to merit an exemption under the QGLTP.

Department of Transport and Main Roads have recently agreed to transfer the property to Council in freehold for $1 and as a result, this report is seeking authority to acquire the property.

Acquisition of the property will secure the iconic structures for the Sunshine Coast community and simplify the ability for Council to make decisions about the future of the site, including determining the necessity of future works and executing longer term tenure over the site (if desired).

Legal

There are no legal implications associated with this report.

Policy

The Environment and Liveability Strategy 2017 provides the policy framework for the standards of service for the park amenity reserve. This property contributes to the open space land target of 5 ha per 1,000 persons on the sunshine coast.

The continued interpretation of the historic site and ongoing provision of public access aligns to the Sunshine Coast Heritage Plan 2015 2020 and the Heritage Levy Policy 2019.

Risk

Due to the nature of Heritage listed properties, maintenance is a significant ongoing issue Should the land be transferred to Council, there will be a moderate financial operating liability to maintain the assets, however it should be noted that under the current licence agreement this liability is already borne by Council.

If Council were not to proceed with the acquisition of the site, and Department of Transport and Main Roads sold it to another party the loss of 3 Canberra Terrace from the open space network would have a significant detrimental impact on the role and function of the park precinct with Lions Park and the Heritage listed Lighthouses, increase the current shortfall of public open space and remove the historical and cultural significance from the site.

Previous Council Resolution

There are no previous Council resolutions associated with this report.

Related Documentation

There is no related documentation relevant to this report.

Critical Dates

Whilst there are no critical dates, Department of Transport and Main Roads have requested the transfer be completed as soon as practical.

Implementation

Should the recommendation be accepted by Council, it is noted that the Chief Executive Officer will:

  • Delegate officers to enter into contracts and finalise the acquisition of the subject property with the State. The Strategic Property and Legal teams will be responsible for the above actions.

  • Delegate officers to enter in to a licence extension with Friends of Caloundra Lighthouses Incorporated upon settlement of the property. The Property Management Branch will be responsible for this action.

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