Dear Beagle Editor,
Stewart Little General Secretary of the Public Service Association wrote recently the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet will increase spending on consultants from $3.5 million to $10.8 million for the 2017-2018 financial year. The Berejiklian Liberal National government have outsourced “thousands of clever, dedicated, hard-working public servants who have operated in their sectors for a long time…and are eminently well-qualified to spot consultant snake oil when they see it” and have been replaced by lucratively paid external consultants and contractors for the government’s capital projects.
Mr Little is referring to the billions of NSW tax dollars that are being paid to external contractors by NSW state government agencies, the NSW Audit Office says, on 82 per cent of major capital projects. In addition, these agencies “have been convinced by consultants to overspend their initial allocation for contractors and consultants by an insane $250 million” auditors found.
This knowledge begs the question - how confident can the Batemans Bay and surrounding community be in Otium, the Berejiklian government’s ‘favoured’ consultant for major capital projects like the Mackay Park Precinct Redevelopment Aquatic/Arts Facility?
In late 2016 Mayor Innes told the community, more than once, that Otium are “experts” in designing aquatic facilities, yet the Mackay Park Precinct re development includes an Arts facility as well.
Moreover the aquatic facility has not been designed for the whole community on the basis that “50 metre pools have a limited market” according to Otium.
Yes great news the aquatic facility is heated and will provide hydrotherapy, learn to swim, splash park, disabled access!
Yes great news the aquatic facility will be opened for 12 months of the year!
But no… bad news… the replacement of 50 metre capacity with only 25 metre pool will not provide for the needs of the whole community, now or in the future!
The community wants 50 metre capacity pool in the Mackay Park Precinct re development. The Batemans Bay Swimming Club members/school children want to continue using 50 metre capacity as they have done for many years. Surf Life Saving Clubs at the northern end of the Eurobodalla want to continue using 50 metre capacity for endurance training for their members, necessary for ocean rescues. The community wants 50 metre capacity in the Mackay Park Precinct re development so everyone who wants to use it can, as has been done over the last 51 years.
Fight for Batemans Bays 50m Pool