Mayor Mark Jamieson and Walker Corporation's commercial manager Malaysia and development projects George Quinn announce the development agreement for the Maroochydore city centre.
Mayor Mark Jamieson and Walker Corporation's commercial manager Malaysia and development projects George Quinn announce the development agreement for the Maroochydore city centre.

New body to guide future of $430m CBD project

CBD developer SunCentral is under review as its owner Sunshine Coast Council considers forming a new group to oversee progress on the $430 million project.

Its future is yet to be decided as council officers recommend the formation of a new strategic group to review work on the 20-year project.

It comes after a deal in November last year which allowed major property player Walker Corporation exclusive development rights of the council's 53ha site.

The strategic review group would include up to three representatives each from the council, SunCentral and Walker Corporation.

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Meanwhile, the council is continuing its review in the future role of SunCentral, formed in early 2015 to oversee the design and delivery of the city centre.

Its operating expenses were $1.92 million last year with $1.17 million attributed to staff costs.

SunCentral CEO John Knaggs at the Maroochydore city centre for the announcement of the development agreement between Sunshine Coast Council and Walker Corporation.
SunCentral CEO John Knaggs at the Maroochydore city centre for the announcement of the development agreement between Sunshine Coast Council and Walker Corporation.

Staff salaries totalled $609,302 last year, excluding the chief executive officer John Knaggs.

Its annual report stated employee benefits and remuneration for Mr Knaggs and the non-executive directors was $832,847, after he and the board agreed to a 15 per cent pay cut between April and June in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A council spokesman said staffing changes at SunCentral was a matter for SunCentral.

Mr Knaggs said via a statement that over coming months the arrangements involving council and SunCentral would be refined and reviewed to "match the needs" of the project.

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"Agreed changes will be implemented through 2021 in order to support the project and important commercial transactions with other parties, along with the separate mobilisation of Walker Corporation," Mr Knaggs said.

The council's most recent annual report said funding for SunCentral was agreed to for the 2020-21 financial year.

If councillors vote in favour of the strategic review group the current shareholder representative group - established in December 2014 - will be wound up.

CBD: An artist's impression of the corso in the new Maroochydore CBD from above.
CBD: An artist's impression of the corso in the new Maroochydore CBD from above.

Members of the current group include SunCentral representatives and Mayor Mark Jamieson as well as councillors Ted Hungerford, Joe Natoli and Jason O'Pray and council staff.

The agenda for the February 25 council meeting said the new group would act as a forum for the three organisations to review and discuss progress of the project and review the performance of each party with regards to their obligations under the development agreement.

It said group members would meet at least twice a year and the change would not diminish the council's oversight of the project or the performance of SunCentral.

Council signed the development partner agreement with Walker Corporation in November last year to grant the firm exclusive development rights.

Cr Jamieson said at the time that the "very carefully considered" deal meant Walker would construct buildings and civil assets such as roads and gardens over the next 20 years.

Walker will use its national and global contacts to attract businesses as tenants, which the council estimates will result in a $2.5 billion investment.

While the company did not pay anything upfront to partner in the development, Cr Jamieson said the council would eventually earn a profit from it.


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