Sherwood Bus Depot: Why Council Spent $132 Million to Buy Back Property

Sherwood Bus Depot
Photo Credit: Google Maps

Brisbane City Council spent $132 million to buy back the Sherwood Bus Depot after selling the block to private owners for $21 million in 2009.

Council made the purchase in December 2020, prompting a debate among the councillors during a recent deliberation of the quarterly financial documents. However, Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said the decision was “financially responsible.” 

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Mr Schrinner said that Council sold a vacant land 12 years ago, which is now the home to a strategical and significant world-class facility. The mayor said that the Sherwood Bus Depot is an important asset for Brisbane’s bus networks

Photo Credit: Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner/Facebook

But this wasn’t the first mistake Council made on the same property, according to Councillor Jared Cassidy and Councillor Nicole Johnston. 

Ms Johnston said that her ward could use the $132 million for “every project I’ve ever wanted to do.”

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After Council sold the land, the owners, Morstem No.1 Pty Ltd, built the bus depot, which was leased to the government in 2012 for 25 years. The latest financial documents showed that rental fees for the depot in 2020 cost Council $6.3 million. 

Ms Johson said that this decision was not in the ratepayer’s best interest. In another Facebook post, Mr Cassidy said this was a “strange deal.” 

“We can only assume that this means the bus depot will be on-sold to the Council’s private development company, City of Brisbane Investment Corporation (CBIC). That will mean there will still be ongoing rent costs for ratepayers and then some of that rent is paid back to council as a ‘dividend,'” Mr Cassidy wrote