The following motion has been moved for the online CHCC meeting to be held this Thursday 23 April;
|Motion: Councillors Rhoades, Swan and Amos in accordance with cl 17.6 of Council’s Code of Meeting Practice, have given notice of their intention to alter Resolution Nos. 2020/13, 2020/14, 2020/53 and 2020/15 in the following manner: “That Council, due to the uncertainty of the Australian economy, our local economy and the uncertainty of the future financial needs of our community due to COVID-19 suspend all works on the Cultural and Civic Space Project as well as the sale of Council properties associated with this project.”|
“We now live in a climate of total uncertainty both locally and Australia wide regarding the health, wellbeing and financial security of our communities. Our community faces tough times ahead, job losses, health issues, possibly the loss of loved ones and the uncertainty of what may lay ahead. We as a nation have never experienced such measures as in place now and the uncertainty of what may lay ahead. Council needs to pause this major project until times of financial security of our community is clearer. It may be short term, it may be longer. That is the uncertainty of COVID-19. Our community now needs more than ever the financial support of this Council.”
UPDATE – 3.30 p.m. – 20-4-20;
The following question on notice from Cr Amos is also on this week’s CHCC agenda along with Council’s response;
Some nine months ago Council resolved to receive a report by an independent expert reviewing the ability of council to service borrowings proposed for the Gordon St project which will comprise of a new art gallery, museum, library and council offices.
The purpose of seeking this report was to confirm the ability of council to service proposed loans. Whilst I am informed by council staff that this report is imminent, the relevance of this report now may be questioned if it is not amended to include economic changes that are impacting upon us profoundly.
Councillors will soon vote on accepting, or otherwise, tenders on the purchase of council buildings, thus creating a “point of no return” relating to the progression of the Gordon St Cultural and Civic Space Project.
Very recent developments impacting upon the council’s debt service capacity include the crisis of COVID 19 and the magnitude of the waste management legal dispute pending ( reported Prime 7 News). Will these critical new developments be factored into the review so as to provide Councillors an accurate and current position from which to make well informed decisions when assessing offers on the proposed sale of real estate assets to part fund the Gordon St project?”
The independent peer review reports are included in this business paper. The peer review of Council’s Long Term Financial Plan relates to the plan used for the completion of the Concept Business Case and therefore does not include subsequent events.”
Editor’s note: My emphasis added above. Does this response not in effect translate as follows?
“No we haven’t allowed for Covid19 effects or the potential Waste Management legal case costs or any other subsequent potential substantial changes to Council’s revenue base over the past nine months.”