The largest parcel of land within the Millicent township is set to change hands. Wattle Range Council chief executive Ben Gower has used his discretion to accept an offer for the vacant land between Mount Gambier Road and the closed railway land.
Measuring almost eight hectares (19 acres), it had been a pine plantation for decades until 2015. After the trees had been cleared, the land had been listed for sale with a local real estate firm for $250,000.
The future ownership of the land had occupied an hour of private talks at the March council meeting. Mr Gower said the confidential talks had centred on whether council should be involved in the development of the land or it be left to a private enterprise.
He expressed the desire for development to occur on the land but said that would be a matter for the new owner. Earlier in the meeting, council had resolved an unrelated land sale as it agreed to sell an 18 hectare unmade road reserve at Thornlea to a neighbouring farming enterprise.
Cr Drew said council should act in the interests of its ratepayers and suggested it could achieve as much as $10,000 per hectare. He referenced a recent property sale in the region without giving a precise location.
In reply, deputy chief executive Paul Duka said council had a policy of obtaining an independent market valuation for land sales.