The Australian Salvation Army has
defended its decision to sell a 50- acre property in the
Mullumbimby hinterland well below market price.
The land was donated to the
Salvation Army around five years ago and was sold in October
without being put on the open market.
The purchase price of around
$280,000 reflects known issues such as access rights. Yet according
to the valuer-generals valuation, the propertys market value is
A neighbouring lot of 100 acres, which has its access
rights resolved, was recently sold for approximately $650,000.
Other properties that are currently on the market in
the vicinity are two approximately five-acre properties, with
houses, listed between $900,000 and $1.7 million.
I think theres a public interest
element, in particular related to how charities manage their funds,
said Mr von der Heyde, who contacted The Echo regarding the
They didnt advertise it or, it
seems, even try to figure out what the market value was.
This appears to be extraordinarily
poor financial management. Part of the reason it sticks in my
throat is that Ive given the Salvos regular donations for 20 years,
imagining that they would manage donations well.
Having contacted the Salvation Army
prior to the conclusion of the sale, Mr von der Heyde says he was
assured by general consul of the Salvation Army Malcolm Roberts
that, I have been charged with looking into this matter and will
respond to you as quickly as possible.
Mr von der Heyde then heard nothing
more from the Salvation Army on the matter, despite further
enquires, and the sale was concluded in October.
Mr Roberts told The Echo: We
have properties all over Australia. We are not property developers.
This piece of land would not have been suitable for us to
We dont believe that it has been
sold for under its value. We believe that its been sold for fair
Though Mr Roberts assured The
Echo that more than one valuation was done on the property, he
was not prepared to supply copies of the valuations for
Mr Roberts said that