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Bay Pav costs revealed and there are more questions than answers

With a seventy million dollar budget ($26.6 State, $25 Federal, $19m Council) that was committed to the Bay Pavilion project it has been revealed in the March Quarterly review (to be tabled at the Tues May 24th, 2022 meeting) that a $3,310,779 contract was approved for variations to the construction contract commencing in February 2022. Because of the veils of secrecy around the Bay Pavilion finances it is not known if the $3,310,779 is within the budget or is additional to the $70 million. Unfortunately the way the budget papers are presented such details remain hidden offering only the most superficial levels of detail, thereby limiting scrutiny. One of the major areas of focus in coming years will be the cost of the edifice that is the Bay Pavilion. Initially costed at $48 million with a Business Case that suggested an annual run loss in the order of $2 million per year (including depreciation) it is suggested that that figure will blowout in excess of $3 million per year (including depreciation). The general public have little to go on to determine the finances of the project and the true running costs with the Council staff still directing enquiries to an out of date business case that has holes so large you could drive a truck through. The only true way that the public (and councillors) can follow the incomes and expenditures of the Bay Pavilion is to have it as a dedicated line item in the budget. There are opportunities now, with the new council, that they might request more transparency around the incomes and expenditures associated with Aligned Leisure and their management of the Bay Pavilion, Moruya Pool and Narooma Pool. Presently there is far too much by way of detail around the management agreement and who pays for what in the running of the Pavilion and southern pools. Of interest is the revelation this week that Aligned Leisure secured a 3 year contract with 2 one year options worth $844,957 to run the shire's pools. While it has not been confirmed it is understood that Aligned banks its turnstyle incomes providing an invoice to the Council to cover "differences". It is understood that all Bay Pavilions services, from the café to the pool hall, gym and theatre, will be run by people employed by Aligned Leisure. There is a good opportunity for clarification around just how much it is costing and where the dollars are coming from, and going to. New Councillors might well be able to direct the General Manager to clearly identify, within the budget and quarterly reviews the income, expenditure and depreciation, estimated to be in excess of a $3.5 million loss in the first year.


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