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Casino, council negotiate $20m land deal

BURWOOD Casino is negotiating with the Town of Victoria Park over control of land surrounding the Burswood Dome which is worth up to $20 million.

The land, currently controlled by the Burswood Park Board, will revert back to the Town of Victoria Park once an agreement has been reached with Burswood Casino.

In a briefing at a Committee for Economic Development of Australia luncheon held last week, Burswood managing director John Schaap said negotiations were underway to take part of the land from the Council so that it could be incorporated into Burswood’s plans for land surrounding the Dome.

That could be through acquisition or leasehold.

Mr Schaap met with Victoria Park CEO John Bonker on Friday regarding the 5.5-hectare parcel of land surrounding the Dome which is currently used for parking.

Mr Bonker said the land could be valued at up to $20 million.

“The agreement is that if the BPB (a separate body with representatives from the casino, State Government and Council) says they have no further use for the land … the land reverts back to the City of Perth – now of course the Town of Victoria Park,” Mr Bonker said.

“We’ve got a huge piece of land right around the Dome and the Dome sits right in the middle of it.”

“The BPB will not relinquish the land back to the town until it is satisfied that an appropriate deal has been struck between the Burswood Casino and the Town of Victoria Park.

“So it’s a bit of a triangular deal and we wait with interest.”

Mr Bonker said it was very difficult to put a market value on the site because the only party that could buy the land would be the Casino.

Two years ago, Burswood Casino told the Town that if they needed the land in the future they would offer $10 million for it.

“It was really a Claytons offer,” Mr Bonker said.

“We think it’s about time the town gets revenue from it. While it’s vested in the BPB we get no rates from it.

“I suggest that the least Burswood should do is lease it from us and pay rates on it especially after we have had to reimburse them $5 million (after Burswood over paid on their rates) – or they may want to purchase it out right.

Despite being $5 million out of pocket, Mr Bonker sees no need for a large injection of funds from the sale of the land. He thinks a steady stream of income from rates on the land would probably be a better outcome for the Town.

“At one time we did briefly think about factoring in that land around the dome as part of the settlement for the $5.5 million, but in the end we said no, we don’t want to mix the jelly with the custard,” he said.

“We will sit back and wait till they need the land rather than us having to sell it.

“I think that time will ultimately arrive if not in the next couple of months certainly down the track.”

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