Port Hinchinbrook – Right Project, Wrong Time

Jun 7, 2023

The normalisation of Port Hinchinbrook at Cardwell continues however, after a lengthy due diligence process the marina property and freehold land which is the property of Passage Holdings Limited will remain under the control of liquidators after Queensland development company, Consolidated Properties Group, made the commercial decision to not enter into a contract to purchase the Port Hinchinbrook assets.

Consolidated Properties Group CEO, Don O’Rorke, said it was with great regret that the decision was made to withdraw from the process of acquiring Port Hinchinbrook.

“The asset is well conceived, and well located, but does require work to bring it to its full potential. The current difficulties in the construction market means we are unable to execute currently,” he said.

“The State Government through its local member, Mr Nick Dametto, has been extremely supportive of our investigations, as has the Cassowary Coast Regional Council through its Mayor, Mark Nolan and CEO, Andrew Graffen.

“It is just unfortunate that circumstances have not allowed this project to proceed with us at this time. We’d also like to recognise the administrator, Michael Brennan and Passage Holdings, Robert Oppenheimer, for their professionalism in this matter.

“I’m sure the natural attributes of this project will see it brought to life, sooner rather than later.”

For the time being, the Port Hinchinbrook assets will remain the responsibility of Offermans, the appointed liquidators.

Principal of Offermans, and liquidator of Passage Holdings, Michael Brennan, said that while Consolidated Properties Group conducted their due diligence, Offermans continued to progress issues with the Council and State Government to reduce the legacy of problems in the development.

“Consolidated would have been a great fit for the project but we are confident that other suitable parties will take up the opportunity to return Port Hinchinbrook to its former glory,” Mr Brennan said.

“We will be taking the properties to market as soon as we can finalise discussions with the State and Council on a few issues.”

This may be seen as a set back by some, but the Cassowary Coast Reginal Council remained focused on the task ahead. The normalisation of Port Hinchinbrook continues to be the focus, as the Council forges ahead with its plans to replace the existing sewage treatment plant and facilitate the emergency dredging projects which have both gained Federal and State Government financial support.

Cassowary Coast Regional Council Mayor Mark Nolan said Council has been working with the State and Federal Governments to deliver outcomes for the residents of Port Hinchinbrook and wider community.

“Council is confident that with a continued investment across all levels of government, the development will realise its full potential and provide economic benefit for the region,” said Mayor Nolan.

Hinchinbrook MP and KAP Deputy Leader, Nick Dametto, said that while he was disappointed to learn that Consolidated Properties had made the decision to not proceed with the purchase of Port Hinchinbrook, he could understand the logic behind their decision.

“Port Hinchinbrook is a golden opportunity for the right developer, but with the rising cost of construction in the regions and the abundance of work in the South-East, it seems this time round it is a case of right project, wrong time for Consolidated Properties,” Mr Dametto said.

“Port Hinchinbrook is the northern gateway to the Hinchinbrook Channel and Great Barrier Reef, in my opinion this asset is the last of its kind. There will likely never be an opportunity to own developable land or a mariner site this close to the Great Barrier Reef again in our lifetime.

“All three levels of government have been working incredibly hard to make this property a saleable product, with the shackles of the archaic conformed deed almost a bad memory.

“I am committed more than ever to working closely with the State Government, CCRC and the liquidators to support a future sale of Port Hinchinbrook.”