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More questions of the Mayoral Minute


The Beagle Editor, In light of the interest being shown in these pages around the Mayral Minute at last Tuesday's Council meeting might I offer your readers a copy of the letter I have sent to the General Manager, Catherine Dale Dear Dr Dale Regional Aquatic, Arts and Leisure Centre at Mackay Park Batemans Bay The Mayor’s tabling of a minute on this matter without notice at last Tuesday’s council meeting was inappropriate. The matters raised were neither urgent nor of an information-only nature. Moreover, the motion proposed was unclear in some important respects. The fifteen minutes given to councillors to read the minute was insufficient time for them to consider and take advice on the complex issues involved. And, the many interested members of the public had no opportunity to express any view. I strongly object to this clumsy attempt at railroading. Accordingly, I am obliged to ask the following questions to ensure that I understand the decision and council’s intentions: 1. What, if any, conditions did the NSW government impose on the sports and cultural grants? What project progress milestone is council obliged to meet by March next year? What penalties apply if council violates grant conditions? 2. What impact, if any, does the shortfall from the planned budget in the money granted by NSW have on the funds sought from the Commonwealth government? Will the Commonwealth grant application be increased and by what amount? 3. Will a new grant for this project be sought from the recently announced rural grant program associated with the sale of NSW’s shareholding in the Snowy Mountains Corporation? Does the availability of this unexpected new source of funds now allow scope for a 50m pool and/or a proper theatre to be included in the concept plan? 4. In regard to point 7, what specific guidance will be given to architects in regard to the future inclusion of a 50m pool (and the associated removal of other pools/facilities)? 5. In regard to point 8, what advice has council received from its audit committee on the maximum affordable capital and operating costs of the project? When does council plan to publish its long term financial plan to allow residents to see the full extent of its expected future capital commitments? 6. In regard to point 11, what guidance will be given to private sector bidders regarding desired contributions (in cash or kind) to the aquatic and arts centre? When will the successful contractor have access to the site? 7. Does council have any ambition to invest in the Narooma Pool to turn it into a regional swimming sports hub? Will council be seeking funds from the NSW sports infrastructure fund for this purpose? I look forward to your reply. In the meantime, please send me a copy of council’s successful applications. I am particularly interested in reading the SGS analysis of the economic costs and benefits of the centre. I sought a copy of this document from Council before Christmas, but you have, as yet, failed to get back to me. I have copied this letter to councillors and the media for their information. Yours sincerely Paul Bradstreet

#Opinion

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