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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Time for Council to come clean on Mackay Park Business Plan

The State election is done. There was a commitment made to the Mackay Park Project of $26 Million and Council applied for a grant from the Federal Government for $25m So where is that up to? The status of the grant application to the Federal Government is unknown nor are the details of the application and of its accompanying business case. Member for Gilmore Ann Sudmalis announced in October 2018 that $25M had been assigned to the Mackay Park project and invited Council to submit a full business case to the Regional Growth Fund for assessment. When advice was requested on the status of the application Council simply responded "The application is under review." So what of this Business case that Council refuses to make public? Council have mentioned the elusive Business Case in their response to a question asked by Clr Anthony Mayne in regards to the possible sale of the Batemans Bay Community Centre to help pay for the new Mackay Park project. Council have said "Council has not made a decision to sell the existing BBCC. It has been identified that it could possibly be sold or leased, to offset construction and/or ongoing operational costs associated with the proposed Aquatics, Arts and Leisure Centre. Council has, through the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), available on Council’s web site and circulated in hard copy, advised that the sale or lease of the Visitor Information Centre (VIC) and BBCC are potential sources of funding to meet the cost of the proposed facility. The business case prepared by Otium and adopted by Council, is based upon funds currently used to operate the BBCC and VIC, being redirected to meet operating costs of the Aquatic, Arts and Leisure Centre and to calculate the net operational cost to Council and therefore the community of that facility. "

It appears that the Business Case they are trying to hide is this one along with the grant application that have now been provided under a GIPA request - you will note both documents are heavily redacted

Note that the application mentioned a 25m x 8 lane pool and a 500 seat performance space

Note also that the application makes specific reference to the inclusion of the Business case by Otium providing the figures for operating cost projections and performance projections.

HOWEVER: That Otium Business plan has the following (in part) disclaimer Readers should be aware that the preparation of this report may have necessitated projections of the future that are inherently uncertain and that our opinion is based on the underlying representations, assumptions and projections detailed in this ‘point in time’ report. There will be differences between projected and actual results, because events and circumstances frequently do not occur as expected and those differences may be material. We do not express an opinion as to whether actual results will approximate projected results, nor can we confirm, underwrite or guarantee the achievability of the projections as it is not possible to substantiate assumptions which are based on future events. The Otium Business case also clearly states : It should be noted that the financial model does not incorporate sensitivity analysis or depreciation at this stage. This will be done after the base case assumptions and preferred design option have been approved by Council. Further, once the preferred design option and financial modelling has been approved and finalised, an assessment of the economic impact of the facility should be undertaken by Council to support any applications for external funding. *****************************************

The preferred design option HAS NOT been approved or finalised and the OTIUM Business Plan does not have an assessment of the of the economic impact of the facility. Now note below a letter dated November 14th 2018 and the final paragraph.... Provide a FULL business case - This assessment WILL investigate project viability and sustainability as well as applicant viability.

It is time to reveal the next concept plan and the accompanying FULL Business Plan Meanwhile questions remain around why the Council General Manager continued to block a Freedom of Information request for the business plan to be provided by the NSW Department of Sport even though they were happy to provide it.

NOTE: Comments were TRIALED - in the end it failed as humans will be humans and it turned into a pile of merde; only contributed to by just a handful who did little to add to the conversation of the issue at hand. Anyone who would like to contribute an opinion are encouraged to send in a Letter to the Editor where it might be considered for publication

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