From the Newsroom

Social media pundit reveals VIC’s sale price

Geoff Helisma


Prominent local social media pundit Dave Schwarz has posted the sale price and date ($970,200, February 2, 2022) of the former South Grafton visitor and information centre (VIC) on a popular Clarence Valley Facebook page.

The information is on the Valuer General’s (VG) web site, however, the VG “does not guarantee that the information is accurate or complete”.

The last known public Clarence Valley Council (CVC) valuation in 2018 was $1.2million – and, at the July 2020 CVC meeting, councillors rejected the fifth offer for the Spring Street property, when approving the appointment of an “ independent party to prepare the planning proposal to rezone the land [from SP3 Tourist] to B5 Business Development” – only Cr Clancy was opposed.

At the February 2022 CVC meeting, councillors unanimously supported a motion put by Cr Bill Day, “That councillors be provided, in confidence, with full details of the contract sale.”

Cr Novak asked if there was a “timeframe” to bring the report back to council.

Acting general manager (AGM), Laura Black, who will be the new general manager from October 7, said she would “have to seek legal advice” regarding the release of the sale price.

Since the March meeting, the AGM made regular entries about the sale’s progress in the ‘Updates on Actions’ check-list, including, on May 6, “Purchaser does not consent to discloure [sic] of the contract.

“Sale will be reported as a matter of course through monthly financial report following settlement in early July.”

Mayor Ian Tiley told the Independent that councillors have not yet been advised of the sale price, however, he said he had “instructed” Ms Black to table a report at the August CVC meeting, “to advise council and the community of the full details of the sale”.

As for Mr Schwarz’s part, he said it wasn’t his idea to check the VG’s web site.

“I’d been trying to find the sale price for some time – usually you can Google it – then someone told me it was on the VG’s site,” he said.

Mr Schwarz posted his discovery on the Clarence Valley Rate Payers, Residents and Business Owners Facebook page