Liverpool City Council Budget Spin by Mayor Mannoun.

Below is the latest spin from Mayor Mannoun to Liverpool residents.
The facts are considerably different, as outlined in the coloured text below.

From Mayor Ned Mannoun,

Dear Liverpool Resident,

I want to hear what is important to you.

Back in 2021 when you hired me as your Mayor, I made a commitment to you that I would manage the finances effectively to ensure you get the level of service you expect from Council.

Fact: This term of Council has seen the worst examples of the lack of basic services to the community, i.e. “roads, rates and rubbish”. That’s despite a substantial increase in Senior staff, two major restructures and the sacking of two CEOs, plus wage increases of more than $14m.

This year, I am proud to announce that Council’s budget has returned to a surplus of $3.9 million, from a $11 million deficit left by the last Council.

Fact: Misinformation, without the sale of major income producing assets at 3 Hoxton Park Road Liverpool estimated to be worth $14m and the home of the State Emergency Services, and an essential part of the Woodward Park Recreational Masterplan, Council would have a deficit of -$8m. That’s despite major grants and substantial rate increases.
Also bear in mind he left a -$2.1m deficit to the next Council despite no Covid 19 or $20m Asbestos remediation costs during his previous term and the current term of Council.
 Overall, both terms were very badly managed.

This includes a record-high spend of $177.7 million on capital works, to improve the local roads, parks, and footpaths that you use daily.

Fact: Compared to the previous Council spending more than $400m on Community facilities, it’s actually a backward step.

My team and I inherited over $200 million in debt racked up by the previous council to build a brand new council building for themselves, without a tenant or plan to generate revenue.

Fact: More misinformation, Civic Place was instigated by Mayor Mannoun during his previous term (2014). It was substantially increased in size and function and supported by all Councillors, including Cllr Tina Ayyad – (Tina Mannoun), during the 2016-21 term of Council.
Existing income producing assets of 33 Moore Street, plus the previous Library and the leasing of commercial space within the new Civic Centre, currently more than 80% leased as originally proposed, will more than pay for the loans of Civic Place. In fact, Council will be in a better financial position with Civic Place than without it, providing that Council does not sell 33 Moore Street as proposed by the Mayor and his Team in this Budget. The cost of Civic Place, at $200m, is spread over 20 years, not as implied over one year.
Macquarie Mall, a badly managed project, costing $18m, during his previous term, is yet to be paid off but not mentioned.  

We know more needs to be done, and that’s why we have stabilised the council’s financial position to set us up for the future.

Fact: More misinformation, in fact, including the proposed sale of 33 Moore Street, with a net worth of $70m and an annual income of around $10m, Councils’ long-term finances will be destabilised and in deficit for many years. To counter that mismanagement, future Councils will needs to increase rates by around 20% or more to sustain current service levels.

In the short two years I have served as your Mayor, we have secured more than $150 million in state government grants to improve local community facilities. This includes:

  • $28 million for the Light Horse Park Embellishment,
  • $13.4 million to upgrade Macquarie Street, Liverpool, and
  • $53.4 million to construct the Carnes Hill Aquatic & Leisure Centre.

Fact: Those grants were primarily due to distributed grants from both State and Federal Governments derived from the sales of their Assets.

We have also started the planning process for constructing an Aquatic & Leisure Centre in Hammondville, a commitment I made to you back in 2021.

Fact: There is no funding available to build the $60m Centre, although there are considered sales of the existing Holsworthy Aquatic Centre, as per Budget, the Moorebank Library and Community Centre, and the Childcare Centre.
The controversial estimated $8m received from land sold to the Moorebank Sports Club is only a fraction of what is needed to build the Aquatic and Leisure Centre in Hammondville.
It’s also unfair that residents in the new release areas of Austral get nothing while dilapidated facilities in existing suburbs such as Miller also get nothing for the foreseeable future.

With all of these projects on the way, I want to hear what matters to you most to ensure Council’s priorities align with yours.

Below, there is a button that links to a short video. During the video, you will see a pop-up with a questionnaire about what you want to see from us. It is completely anonymous and will only take a few minutes.

Feedback on the budget closes on Sunday, 23 June 2024.

Together, we can keep the progress and momentum that we have generated in Liverpool together. If you ever have any questions or queries, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Yours sincerely,

Ned Mannoun

Mayor of Liverpool

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