Auction cancelled – along with all communication

Emerald real estate agent Di Hancock-Mills.
Emerald real estate agent Di Hancock-Mills.

A STATE Government department's abrupt cancellation of an auction of 11 vacant housing lots in Emerald has left a local real estate agent out of pocket, and angry.

Century 21's Di Hancock-Mills said she woke on Wednesday morning to discover her outlay on a marketing campaign had been in vain when she read the Central Queensland News.

"What concerns me is I find out by reading about it in the newspaper, and the government department that employed me to do the job finds out in the newspaper - how bad is that?" she posed.

It was late on Tuesday when a Department of Education and Training spokeswoman told this newspaper the auction had been called off until a further needs analysis was undertaken.

Ms Hancock-Mills said she was saddened not to bring the Department of Environment and Resource Management-owned lots to auction because of the current housing affordability and rental crisis leaving families on Struggle St.

"I was told the auction has been suspended at this point in time, so all my money has been outlaid for nothing," she said.

"DERM didn't know about it, and I was blown away. I photocopied the article and sent it to them, and they started ringing around and rang me back to say the auction was suspended.

"I'm definitely out of pocket, and I'm just going to walk away, but my point is the government has owned this land for more than 30 years and after all that time, somebody needs to build on those blocks.

"These are blocks in older subdivisions on the northern side of town, and where the State Government owns blocks in the new subdivisions they're not building anything on them either.

"And what about the houses in Blackwater they are selling off - why are they selling those now?

"What happened to me is part of what a real estate agent does, but I would just like to see 11 families have the opportunity to put a home on that vacant land.

"I earnestly believe if land is vacant, sitting there in this community when we've got so many people desperately needing accommodation, I don't care who builds on that land, just put a home there for someone to live in."

The auction was due to be held today before being roundly criticised by Central Highlands Mayor Peter Maguire and Gregory MP Vaughan Johnson as being policy failure when so many local police, teachers and health workers were directly impacted by the lack of affordable housing.

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