Billionaire developer Harry Triguboff says he’s heading back to court against the Baird government’s development company UrbanGrowth NSW, suing them for access to documents relating to the sale of land in Sydney’s north last year.
When UrbanGrowth put the site, known as Lachlan’s Line in Macquarie Park, out to tender, Triguboff’s Meriton Group was excluded from the process over conflict of interest claims, which led to the developer launching legal action he later abandoned, saying he wanted to clear his name.
Meriton bid $184 million for the two 1.5 hectare sites and wanted to to build 800 apartments, but hired a former UrbanGrowth employee who had access to commercial-in-confidence documents. Australia’s richest man tried to stop the tender process, but that case was dismissed in a preliminary judgment in June 2015 and he subsequently withdrew the remaining legal action.
On Tuesday, Triguboff said he was heading back to court seeking access to tender information and documents from UrbanGrowth under the Government Information (Public Access) Act.
He said UrbanGrowth refused to provide any documents in response to Meriton’s application.
“UrbanGrowth is responsible to get the best deal for the people of NSW. This is not land belonging to UrbanGrowth. It belongs to the people of NSW. I would’ve thought they would welcome the opportunity to show everyone what a good job they are doing,” he said.
Chinese developer Greenland Investment (Australia) paid $190 million for the tender as is already preselling
Greenland won the tender for the lots for a sum of $190 million. It has already commenced stage 2 of the development, called nbh at Lachlan’s Line. Greenland’s first completed residential development, Lucent at North Sydney, was launched two months ago.
Greenland has applied to join the proceedings in order to oppose access for Meriton.
Meriton’s general counsel, Joseph Callaghan, said the application was “simply about ensuring a fair and transparent tender process”.
UrbanGrowth NSW is the state-owned enterprise responsible for developments such as Green Square, the Bays precincts around Sydney’s inner west, the redevelopment and urban densification of Parramatta Road, and Newcastle’s waterfront redevelopment.
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