Innes jumping ship before the facts are revealed
We are only six months out from the grand opening of the Bay Pavilion. The building is going to cost more than $70 million. We all know that because we are reminded of it every day with building supplies skyrocketing. At some point the Council will have to come clean on how much more the building cost. They only received $51 million. That meant they had to find $19 million more. Remember when Dale wouldn't tell us where the extra money was going to come from? In the end she was forced to reveal that Council would be dipping into savings, selling some assets, using the Southern Phone dividend payout and kicking in with the racecourse money. But is that enough to meet the increases of the build cost? Looks like Council have themselves a manager for the new aquatic centre. But do they have a manager for the theatre? And who will lease the café and the gymnasium? The Council have declared the projected annual operating costs of the centre to be "commercial in confidence" but at some point the running costs will have to come on to the books for all to see. That will include the depreciation of the building as well. It is already estimated that it will cost over $2 million per year (including depreciation) to run the centre. We have been told that Council will find money to pay for the running costs from the sale of the Batemans Bay Community Centre and Visitor Centre. The Council has been shadowy from the outset about this project. Sadly it already has a sour note that reeks of pork, being embroiled in acknowledged Pork Barreling. Mayor Innes and the bulk of her voting majority will be gone by the time the centre is opened. If there is a ribbon to be cut it will be by a new Mayor and Council who will be inheriting the largest annual overhead in the history of Council facilities. The Bay Pavilion financials have much to reveal when the project is complete as the "Commercial in Confidence" Business Case finally becomes available, via an outstanding GIPA request that has seen Council resist its release. Only time will reveal.
The Innes Era will be measured by its legacies.