Council’s record with GESAC, Caulfield Park pavilion, and countless other major works has one thing in common – the doubling of costs! GESAC was supposed to be roughly around $28m. We estimate that it is in the realm of $50 to $60m. The same with other projects. Now we have the Booran Road Reservoir.

In 2008, the estimated cost was ‘over $5m’. (Minutes of 1st July, 2008). Admittedly costs have gone up over time and there are always unexpected expenses. However, should this mean a doubling of expenditure? What does this say about ‘business plans’ and sound management and oversight?

Given the way in which council provides data it is extremely difficult to come up with figures for how much this development is actually costing ratepayers. What we do know is what is contained in the minutes and to put it simply – these figures do not add up!

In 2011 the budget stated – Booran Road Reservoir – The SRP allows for the reinstatement and redevelopment of the Booran Road Reservoir Site – $4m in 2017-2018 and $3.5m in 2018-2019. (minutes of 27th April 2011) That’s $7.5 million.

In 2013 the figures became – reinstatement and redevelopment of the Booran Road Reservoir Site as Public Open space – $5m in 2015-2016 and $4.5m in 2016-2017 (minutes of June 25, 2013) – $9.5million

In 2015 this became – Booran Reserve – reinstatement and redevelopment of the former Glen Huntly Reservoir Site as Public Open Space $4.84m in 2015- 2016 and $3.93m in 2016-17 (includes State Government funding of $585k). (Minutes of 23rd June 2015)

In the meantime of course, there has been massive expenditure on a variety of tenders and other ‘expenses’. Here are some – all taken from the minutes.

  • Booran Road Reservoir site – allow $50k for site investigation works. (Minutes of 1st July 2008)
  • Booran Road Reservoir Consultation and Master Plan Development $60k AND Feasibility Study – Booran Reservoir – $15K (minutes of 28th June 2011)
  • BOORAN RESERVOIR SOIL CONTAMINATION $60,000 (minutes of 30th August 2011)
  • BOORAN ROAD RESERVOIR COMMUNITY CONSULTATION AND MASTER PLAN DEVELOPMENT – $200,000 (minutes of  2nd September 2014)

Tenders are also interesting – especially toilets:

  • Toilets – ($473,000.00 including GST (1st September 2015)
  • electricity station – $50,215 (Inc. GST) (MINUTES 21ST September 2015)
  • The result of this tender was not published in the minutes – Supply and Installation of two double Automated Toilets – $400,000  (MINUTES OF JUNE 30TH, 2015)
  • Demolition of Sections of Existing Concrete Walls, Floor Slabs, Earth Embankments andAssociated Works for an amount of $838,504.32 exclusive of GST ($922,354.75 including GST). (23rd September 2014)
  • More toilets – $359,693.40
  • Playgrounds – ($1,886,475.80 including GST) – 11th August 2015
  • The Water Play Feature – $1.9 m24th November 2015

But the best is what’s in the current agenda – an estimated $4.01 million for ‘lighting and landscape works’ with only 3 selection criteria!!!! Please note that other councils often have 6 or 7 selection criteria.

Adding up these figures, the grand total is well and truly above $9 million ($7m alone for 2015/6) and we expect plenty more to be spent.  Yes, there might be ‘carry forwards’ but this still does not equate with what the budget figures state. Thus, the question of ‘how much is this really costing’ is worth asking – especially in an era of supposed ‘cost cutting’ and ratecapping!

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