DAVID Paradice manages more than $16billion in investments through his privately owned firm Paradice Investment Management and possibly knows a good deal when he sees one.
David flies home to Scone regularly and has a Messerschmitt warbird, but he fails to see appropriate rigor in the financial plan for the warbird museum to justify a $10.8million investment in ratepayer money.
“I applaud the Council for looking at innovative ideas to help Scone develop and grow,” said Mr Paradice.
“Scone airport is really the only airport of significance servicing the Upper Hunter which provides for opportunistic growth if managed appropriately,” he said.
“But the assumption of 1,000 visitors per week to the museum would appear difficult to achieve,” he said.
“I am concerned the airport will become a white elephant and the rate payers will be left paying for it,” he said.
“If it was a good investment, others including myself may want to invest, but I can’t see it,” David Paradice said.
David Paradice said he supports the importance of the airport for Scone and new tourism ideas, but has urged Council to conduct a review the business plan.
“I think the airport upgrade is important because it will be upgrading the aviation gateway to the Upper Hunter and result in attracting more visitors and possibly more residents,” said David.
“It would definitely benefit the horse industry as it would provide clients with access and time to visit studs,” he said.
“I would love the museum to proceed as it would be a tourist attraction however assumptions underlying that particular part of the proposal need further analysis,” he said.
“For it to be worthy of so much investment, it probably would be appropriate to have a consultant review the assumptions underlying the project,” David Paradice said.
Related stories: Scone Airport Development.