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TasPort finalizing Tribunna wharf sale

TasPorts is finalising the sale of the government-owned Triabunna mill wharf on Tasmania’s east coast to an unnamed buyer. Source: ABC News

The land-locked port has not been used since Gunns stopped exporting woodchips from the site and closed the mill in 2011.

Entrepreneur Graeme Wood bought the woodchip mill in 2011 with the founder of the Kathmandu camping-ware chain, Jan Cameron.

The pair were locked in a legal dispute over Mr Wood’s plans to develop an extensive tourist venture at the Triabunna site, and he bought her out in 2014.

Mr Wood is now pursuing a $50 million tourism development on the site alone.

TasPorts was believed to be negotiating a potential sale of the wharf with Mr Wood before it decided to advertise it on the open market.

Mr Wood is yet to lodge a planning application with the Glamorgan-Spring Bay Council for his proposed development, which includes a hotel, function centre and botanical gardens. It is believed he was waiting for the outcome of the sale before deciding on the future on his investment.

Earlier this year, a parliamentary inquiry headed by Liberal MP Guy Barnett recommended the wharf remain in public hands in case of potential future demand.

State Opposition Leader Bryan Green said it appeared the Government was ignoring the recommendation of Mr Barnett.

“If they sell it they’ve undermined his credibility significantly and allowed us to understand how hypocritical they are,” Mr Green said.

Treasurer Peter Gutwein said the “operational matter” was a decision for TasPorts.

TasPorts is expected to make an announcement about the sale this week.