Friday 5 October 2012

Delfin Lend Lease ‘No corporate citizen’ for South Cairns - Cr Rob Pyne

Cairns Regional Councillor Rob Pyne has criticised Delfin Lend Lease for the failure to fully consult with the community in relation to the sale of their iconic sales office on Forest Gardens Boulevard. 

"I'm bitterly disappointed that the company rejected an offer from local community group, St. John’s Community Care, to purchase the building for community use,” Cr Pyne said.

”St. John’s provides support to the frail aged and people with disabilities as well as a range of home and community care services in the Far North.”

Delfin Lend Lease also owns and manages Cairns Central shopping centre in the heart of Cairns.

Theo Bacalakis of St. Johns confirmed their proposal was rejected outright.

"We submitted a formal offer to purchase the property, only to be advised that Delfin had declined our offer to purchase the property, in favour of an offer from a private developer," Theo Bacalakis said.

St. Johns is a not-for-profit charitable and benevolent institution, and doesn't rely on Government grants to provide the infrastructure necessary for its community services.  It does however receive substantial government funding to provide direct support to its clients.

“The Delfin Forest Gardens property is the ideal location for St. Johns,"  Rob Pyne says.  "It has good access for those people of the southern corridor who need to access the community centre for services, and to combat any social isolation that they experience."

"The property also has a building that would ideally meet the need of those people who would use the Centre.  I am sure Cairns Council would have considered supporting the St. John’s bid, but we were not given the opportunity," Pyne said.

Pyne says that the community benefit of St. John’s proposal would not have disadvantaged Delfin Lend Lease financially.

"The community benefit would have been considerable.  There is very strong support within the community for this centre to remain for that community purposes, so I certainly call on Lend Lease to reconsider the St. John’s offer,” Rob Pyne said.

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