After $78M loss, council-owned company to be wound up

IPSWICH City Council is preparing to forgive the debt as it moves to wind up the bungled Ipswich City Properties company by June 30.

The first steps of winding up the council-owned company have been set out in a report to the council's Economic Development Committee.

Clayton Utz has been engaged by ICP at a cost of $33,500 to cover its legal requirements involved with the termination process.

Consent from Queensland Rail to change lease arrangements and ministerial agreement to change the lease on crown property are potential causes of delay, the committee report noted.

Clayton Utz will prepare to arrange the transfer of freehold land, the transfer of leasehold land, merge intellectual property and forgive ICP's debt.

A formal move to forgive the debt, which is not fully costed, is likely to be through a resolution of the council.

The involvement of accountants McGrath Nicol and lawyers King and Wood Mallesons in ICP's cessation is estimated to cost between $60,000 and $80,000.

The council will apply to the State Government for exemption to stamp duty caused by the company merger.

ICP was registered in 2009 to progress the redevelopment of the city's central business district.

A recent McGrath Nicol report found the council could have saved $7.1million by undertaking the project itself, rather than through a registered company.

The McGrath Nicol report found ICP had incurred a net loss of $78 million.

In March, Ipswich administrator Greg Chemello said the redevelopment was "at the lowest point".

"Buildings are empty which means we're not receiving rent. In their current state, they aren't of much value to any would-be investors in the city," he said.

The CBD redevelopment continues.



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