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Legal battle over development work at planned Sunshine Coast waterpark
The developers of the planned ACTVE waterpark and active recreation destination on the Sunshine Coast are being taken to court by the company that master planned the development and obtained an MCU (Material Change of Use) from the Sunshine Coast Council for the project.
Waterpark project managers Waterplay Pty Ltd has filed a case in the Supreme Court of Queensland against property owner Nurrowin Pty Ltd, a company substantially owned by Najibi Capital in Dubai, which has now taken over the project.
Waterplay’s legal action alleges that Nurrowin, the developers of the planned $400 million attraction owe $1.25 million for their work. Waterplay claim that it owed the money, a ‘Call Option Assignment Fee’, less agreed expenses) when it purchased the land in late December 2015 after the call option was assigned to them.
The project is now been driven by a company called Sanad Capital Pty Ltd - owned by the same principals as Nurrowin and their Dubai affiliate.
Waterplay has wide international aquatic attractions experience upon which the concept for the the new Sunshine Coast attraction was based backed by major international projects completed including the Wahooo! Waterpark Bahrain project and the Wadi Adventure project in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates.
Waterplay planned the new Sunshine Coast attraction for several years, before announcing details in 2014.
Waterplay Pty Ltd Director Arthur Downing claims to have identified the site and obtained the Material Change of Use required to allow a large-scale tourism development.
Downing explained “we just love this project and strongly believe in everything we were attempting to achieve such as providing further visitor attractions for the region, creating major employment opportunities whilst still designing a sensitive development in keeping with the Sunshine Coast's core values.”
Mooloolaba lawyer Michael Kleinsmidt, who acts for Nurrowin, acknowledges the court action but says it would be vigorously defended.
Kleinsmidt told the Sunshine Coast Daily that the company would argue there was never an agreement between Waterplay and Nurrowin.
He described the claim as "lengthy and embarrassing", saying it alleged conspiracy while providing no evidence, advising “the truth will come out in court.”
Kleinsmidt said although the claim had been brought in May last year it took six months for it to be served, alleging the timing was intended to impact on decision making around the first stage of the project's development application.
He added “with the council making its final determination it is positively unhelpful to have unproven allegations in the minds of councillors and others.”
However, Downing emphasises Waterplay’s contribution to the project, concluding “we always intended that this project be successful from the start and this remains the case today.
“But, having said that, we need to be treated fairly and paid for the massive amount of work undertaken since 2009 and it is deeply regretted that it has been necessary to commence proceedings in the Brisbane Supreme Court against the new owners.”
While seemingly an ideal location for a major waterpark, plans to develop such an attraction on the Sunshine Coast over the past decade have been beset by problems with operators including Village Rodshow and Aussie World planning, then dropping, waterpark proposals.
16th November 2016 - FIRST STAGE OF SUNSHINE COAST’S ACTVE ATTRACTION SUBMITTED FOR DEVELOPMENT APPROVAL
29th September 2016 - SANAD CAPITAL TO PARTNER WITH WHITEWATER IN DEVELOPING SUNSHINE COAST WATERPARK
30th July 2014 - MAJOR NEW WATERPARK PLANNED FOR SUNSHINE COAST
8th October 2009 - WAHOOO! WATERPARK SET FOR BAHRAIN OPENING
24th September 2009 - VILLAGE AXES SUNSHINE COAST WATERPARK PLANS
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