In regards to the Mackay Park Precinct Concept Plan/Business Case. It has been noted by correspondents to the Beagle that Council has paid $92,900 to date in consultant’s fees and is seeking a further $20,000. The General manger has been formally asked if she would kindly explain to written requests of what is hoped to achieve by this further expenditure? Whilst the general staff have received recent accolades for their customer focus the score of meaningful response from the General Manager in regards to absolute questions has been decidedly POOR in the opinion of many. At the time of the GM's salary review this perception held of POOR community engagement and poor response to the HARD questions by the GM doesn't auger well, irrespective of the "First Prize" $120,000 plus report she commissioned to "Mystery Shopper" test her own staff.
It has also been noted that for the months of January, February and March, the total for councillor’s phone/internet/fax expenses was $4,128.00. For a total of $30 per month (or $1 a day) most of the older prudent residents of the Shire receive unlimited calls and text messages to anywhere in Australia (Optus and Telstra). Maybe Councillors and Senior Staff could look at other options to reduce costs.
It has also been noted that an amount of $39,275.00 was spent on ‘NCAT hearing and other general legal advice’ for the same quarter.
There is only one matter that readers to The Beagle are aware of currently before NCAT involving Eurobodalla Shire Council which was brought by Jim Bright in relation to Council’s refusal to disclose information sought under GIPA. This matter is yet to proceed to a ‘hearing’. Of interest is that if this matter does proceed to ‘hearing’ then the public will be privy to the proceedings. One would hope that, in such an event, the matter would be transferred to Batemans Bay to reduce the ratepayer burden. It can only be assumed that the full amount of $39,275.00 was spent solely on this current matter for ‘advice’ and attendance by counsel at an NCAT conference in Sydney. Once again the General Manager has been specifically requested to provide answers and to confirm that the above figures are correct.