Walker Corporation denies Chinese developer bought land at Wilton

Walker Corporation's artist impression of it housing development at Wilton South East Precinct.
Walker Corporation's artist impression of it housing development at Wilton South East Precinct.

Walker Corporation has denied Chinese development company Country Garden Australia – named in a property scandal involving disgraced Wagga MP Daryl Maguire – has bought land in its Wilton South East Precinct.

The Independent Commission Against Corruption revealed two weeks ago that Mr Maguire attempted to broker property deals and sought kickbacks from Country Garden Australia.

Walker Corporation recently lodged a development application to subdivide 701 residential lots between Picton Road and Janderra Lane at Wilton.

As part of the application, Walker submitted ‘building design guidelines’ which stated new buyers were required to pay a bond to Country Garden when building their homes.

A compliance bond is a refundable fee paid to a developer at the time of settlement to ensure homes are built to the project’s design guidelines.

A Walker Corporation spokesman said the reference to Country Garden was an error and it had not sold any land to the Chinese developer.

“In regard to Country Garden’s mention in the submission, Walker Corporation has used an external consultant to prepare the housing design brief who also undertakes the same work for other housing developers,” he said.

“In producing the document for Walker, the consultant inadvertently used a previous document naming another client and did not pick up the error before submission.

“This has now been corrected.”

Walker Corporation commissioned environmental consultancy firm, Biosis Pty Ltd, in 2016 to undertake an Aboriginal cultural heritage assessment of the proposed subdivision and bulk earthworks within the proposed first and second stages of the precinct.

In that document, an Aboriginal cultural heritage constraints assessment, prepared by Biosis for Country Garden was referenced.

The Walker Corporation spokesman said the company did not wish to comment further.

Country Garden set up two companies, Wilton East and Wilton West in February 2017.

Country Garden Australia’s head of managing director office Stephen Sun told Fairfax Media last week that the company did not own land in Wilton.

"Country Garden Australia already has a number of projects under way in NSW and Victoria and we are actively pursuing other community building opportunities in Australia," he said.

Country Garden owns 364 hectares of land at Cawdor.

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