Luna Park millions go to developer
www.smh.com.au/news/national/ luna-park-millions-go-to-developer/ 2005/07/15/1121429359105.html
By Anne Davies, State Political Editor
July 16, 2005
Millions of dollars promised in a deal to guarantee the future of Luna Park will instead flow to the development giant Multiplex, while the trust that holds the site for taxpayers gets just $3.
Despite the NSW Government's claim the commercial developments associated with Luna Park are needed to keep it alive, a Herald investigation has revealed that no stream of revenue will flow from them to the trust or the park's operator, Luna Park Sydney.
The developments - the Milsons Landing office block, a proposed cliff-top site and a car park - were divided from the main park and leased to Metro-Edgley for 99 years for $1 each.
The profits go to Metro-Edgley, owned by Multiplex, or, in the car park's case, directly to Multiplex.
Metro-Edgley reported a profit of $12.54 million in the 2003-04 fiscal year, from development revenue of more than $75 million.
The chief executive of Luna Park Sydney, Peter Hearne, said some of Metro-Edgley's profits had been used to reduce the operator's debt. But he would not explain how the flow of funds occurred or how much of the $80 million poured into the park's redevelopment had been repaid.
Luna Park Sydney has a 40-year lease of the fun park - that is, the rides, the Crystal Palace and Coney Island - and pays rent to the trust based on the park's turnover. But the trust gives all of the money back, less operating expenses, so that Luna Park Sydney can pay for the upkeep of the heritage elements of the park.