School of Arts & Old Council Site

Member for Liverpool’s continuing diatribe against Liverpool City Council; as per Hansard Papers of the 15th and 29th March 2012.

Two of the more obvious lies in his diatribe of misinformation were;

Old Council site: “Council intends to sell the land”.

Not true, public expressions of interest have been called for and extended to 31 days, closing April 10th 2012. It was extensively advertised in the media as well as Councils Website, Community Forums and Rural Information Centres. It clearly stated, “Sale, lease or any other fit purpose”, nowhere did it state that the site would be sold! Neither is there any record of any proposal to sell the site in Councils’ Meeting Minutes.

“A bad decision”  to purchase the 33 Moore Street Site.

Also NOT TRUE, he fails to state that the purchase produces an income of more than $1.6 million per year and that will pay for any necessary maintenance in less than two years! Most business people have praised the purchase as a clever move. Rebuilding on the old site meant zero income and a greater ongoing maintenance burden to ratepayers. There are numerous advantages in locating Councils Administration Centre in the Central Business District, accessibility, increased customers to businesses and increasing business confidence are some.

Similar comments apply to the purchase of 52 Scott Street; he describes it as “the dud deal of the century” it too produces an income, currently around $1M, which is far more than by investing the purchase price (around $8M) of the site in interest bearing investments. The Member for Liverpool also fails to understand the natural increases in property value over time. The building is currently 88% long term lease occupied, not bad for the “dud deal of the century”. Clearly Mr Lynch and his Labor Colleagues appear to suffer from a distinct lack of business sense!

It is worth remembering that the Green Valley community (Heckenberg included) has had major road refurbishments carried out in 2010. That was due to a special $800k allocation of funds, which his Labor Councillor Colleagues ALL voted against, including the Mayor. Considering Green Valley is a predominately Labor area, that decision begs belief!

Memorial School of Arts – “A plan of management”.

A “Plan of Management” was called for by Clr Stanley as a “Notice of Motion” and passed by Council, however, further investigations determined that such a costly plan is not necessary and would save Council some $40,000. A justifiable rescission motion was called for (which I co-signed) after Councillors were informed of the facts and reversed Councillor Stanley’s initial Motion. Clearly that reversal was in the best interests of the community.   Council will decide the best use for the Memorial School of Arts after it is refurbished. Future leasing occupants, including community groups, may provide a minimum income to counteract years of accumulated financial losses for the site.

Personally, I do not support the sale of Council owned property, preferring to lease it whenever possible. I believe it should be left to future generations to decide the best use of Council owned and operated major assets.

However, ratepayers and residents need to understand that Council has to increase its income producing assets in order to meet rising maintenance costs. Council cannot continue to rely upon rates alone. Ongoing cost increases are caused to a great extent, by State Governments passing their costs onto Local Councils and then limiting rate increases to below actual Council cost increases.  A policy designed to make State Governments look good but at the expense of Local Councils and their worsening infrastructure.  That policy appears to be designed to support an agenda for abolishing or amalgamating Local Councils.  Don’t be fooled by clever talk that seems logical, but on further investigation will result in fewer benefits to locals than is currently the case.

It is a shame that the Member for Liverpool uses Parliamentary Privilege to denigrate Liverpool City Council including his Labor Party Colleagues. Is it any wonder why some people refer to Parliament as “Cowards Castle”?

Click on Links below to access Hansard documents;

http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/hansart.nsf/V3Key/LA20120315089?open&refNavID=HA8_1      and

http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/Prod/parlment/hansart.nsf/V3Key/LA20120329132?open&refNavID=HA8_1

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