Vintara wellness resort plans put on hold

PLANS to build a multimillion-dollar five-star resort at Vintara Winery have been put off indefinitely.

In 2010, former owner Michael Murtagh announced a major hotel management company had come on board to open the Vintara Wellness Resort at Rutherglen next year.

The resort was to have 80 rooms, a second restaurant, day spa and wedding centre.

However, Mr Murtagh said gaining capital for the venture proved difficult after the global financial crisis.

“It’s a real problem in country areas to get funding for businesses,” he said.

“You have to prove you can borrow on your current earnings, not future.”

Mr Murtagh said the planning permit was still available for new owner Jack Liu.

The planning permit was recently renewed for a further two years.

Mr Liu said he had no immediate plans to build a resort on the land.

“Maybe in the future we can build the accommodation,” he said.