An artist's impression of the new $65 million Actventure water park to be built at Glenview on the Sunshine Coast. Pictures: Supplied
An artist's impression of the new $65 million Actventure water park to be built at Glenview on the Sunshine Coast. Pictures: Supplied

Lawsuit delays new $65m Coast water park

A lawsuit involving a proposed water park on the Sunshine Coast could hamper the construction of the long-awaited tourist attraction, a court has heard.

Supreme Court Judge Peter Davis has ordered the daughters of the deceased landowner who sold the Glenview block to the water park developers to join the proceedings, with the defence.

Rosella Bricalli and Anna Gossow sold the 25ha property on Steve Irwin Way for $3.7 million to Nurrowin on their father Louis Venturiello's behalf in December 2015.

Mr Venturiello died in 2016.

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Court documents show water park expert Arthur Downing secured the site 10km northeast of Australia Zoo, gained council approvals which substantially increased the value of the land and raised capital for the venture.

He also agreed to selling his interests in the scheme in September 2015 to Nurrowin in exchange for a $1.25 million "assignment fee".

However, the sale fell through, allowing Nurrowin to strike a deal with Mr Venturiello directly and leaving Mr Downing without a cent.

An aerial artist's impression of the new Actventure water park also includes an eco-resort, called Invigorate. Pictures: Supplied
An aerial artist's impression of the new Actventure water park also includes an eco-resort, called Invigorate. Pictures: Supplied

Mr Downing, 77, is suing Dubai-backed Najibi General Trading Company, its Australian arm Nurrowin, which bought the site, and the companies' director and former professional golfer Bradley Sutherland, 49.

Justice Davis said he accepted the defendants said they acted lawfully.

However, he said there was evidence Nurrowin agreed to compensate Mr Venturiello against any claims by Mr Downing.

"Mr Venturiello was so concerned that he secured an indemnity from Nurrowin against any claim by the plaintiffs," Justice Davis said.

Defence lawyer Ben Stagman, acting for Mr Sutherland and his companies, argued adding the Mr Venturiello's estate to the defence would:

Delay the proceedings;

Complicate the litigation;

Increase the cost of the litigation; and

Hinder the development of the water park.

Bradley Sutherland, second left, discusses the water park with Paul Chutter, Talal Najibi, Geoff Chutter and Mohamed Najibi during a meeting in Dubai. Picture: Supplied.
Bradley Sutherland, second left, discusses the water park with Paul Chutter, Talal Najibi, Geoff Chutter and Mohamed Najibi during a meeting in Dubai. Picture: Supplied.

"The litigation is hampering the defendants from securing funding and proceeding with the development of the water park," he said in his submission to the court.

Justice Davis agreed the proceedings would be delayed and more expensive.

But he said cost should be no issue for Nurrowin.

"The defendants were $1.25 million better off as they avoided paying the nomination fee," he said.

He ordered the estate be tried with the existing defendants as their issues were "inextricably bound up" and asked for further submissions from the parties.

The new $65 million water park, called Actventure, was expected to open by late 2022. Construction is yet to start.


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