Simple Questions, 4 Fremantle Council, Why No Answers, Where’s the Transparency?




It’s really quite interesting that Mr Lee’s simple questions couldn’t be answered, 1st of all, over 3 months he tried to ask quietly his questions but no answers, off the radar so to speak ?

Then his speaking aloud piece could have simply been addressed by the COF with answers from council, which would have given them an air of transparency, instead of spin, slight of hand or distraction, still no answers, just cheap personal attacks?

Then we hear the Fremantle Society has also been asking questions for years also no answer?

We see in the Mayor & CEO speaking allowed piece again no answers, just what is starting to look like typical COF response of disdain,  that started with factual inaccuracies.

Now we see in Roels Freoview a change in tack he has also acknowledged the COF slight of hand and lack of answers. Lets be clear we all want to see  Freo, develop and progress, as Mr Lees Thinking allowed article in the Herald stated last week. Despite what the underhanded piece from the CoF in the Herald attempted in a pathetic way to distort.

Good to see all the comments or questions from, Jayne, Craig, Mike, Robert, Kel, Diana, Dick, Suzanne, Steve, the Herald, Andrew,Lionel, Paul and Roel etc are keeping the focus and direction without cheap distractions, that the city and councillors attempt to use to divert attention from the real questions and issue’s.

Now we see a whole new level of questions raised by the Herald in their SAMSON REC TO PAY FOR NEW HQ. How long to get answers on that I wonder?

Lets hope this level of public scrutiny remains and even better increases, till we finally have a council that behaves in an open, transparent manner.

  1. Transparency
  2. Transparency, is the used science, engineering, business, the humanities and in a social context more generally, implies openness, communication, and accountability. Wikipedia
    leaders wanted

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  1. Craig says:

    To date the CoF has chosen (presumably deliberately) not to rebut the queries raised on the net present value and internal rate of return calculations of the project. So it’s a pretty big red flag the financial assessment methodology presented in the business plan is looking dodgy.

    Someone at CoF or their advisors have the model with the projected cash flow scenarios which shows the calculation of the base case positive NPV ($4m) and IRR (6%) presented in the business plan. It’s absolutely not difficult for the CoF to answer Mr Lee’s factual questions.

    Why would there be stonewalling on the factual answers?

  2. Agreed. I think think the main point that Mr Lees was trying to find out was in relation to their own replacement cost of the building which was way-way higher that any actual replacement value. The CoF estimates were at $80 million or something along those lines. They used this as a best case scenario and there are questions as to whether there has been a deliberate manipulation of the figures in order to drive a business case for the replacement of the City’s offices.

    Add in a flowery business case, glossy brochure, and a charm offensive by Dr Brad Pettitt with a heap of newspaper advertising and voila.

    I mean, without trying to espouse conspiracy theories, building a new City office block for the City of Fremantle staff is probably the last building that the people of Fremantle realistically want to see built. If you can generate a hype around the project, by saying:
    1. Its a once in a generation opportunity
    2. It will be a transformational project
    3. It will reinvigorate the Centre of Fremantle

    Then have some ego building scope such as rebuilding the Fremantle City centre, you have a case. But its salesmanship until you start to look at the numbers and see that your getting ripped off.

    Yes, we get a new Library. But the case for saying it will transform King Square is pretty weak, as is the case that it will be a driver of business back into the City. Many people have already pointed out, that they have over estimated the square meterage of shopping and commercial space that they are driving for. As for the volume of commercial and retail that Sirona is driving for, well, the reason the project has stalled is because they haven’t been able to sign people up.

    The City turns around and blames the State Government. But its not a State Government responsibility to prop up Sirona and make its business go forward if the people of WA are getting ripped off. Sirona is the landlord, it doesn’t care who rents the space off them. All they are concerned about is getting the project off the ground and getting tenants to sign on the bottom line. All the City is concerned about is getting the State Gov to Sign onto Sirona’s project so it can gets its money to fund its new office building for itself.

    Talk about self centered and selfish thinking.

    I think the City of Fremantle shouldn’t be spending such a large amount of money on a City office block for itself. Sure, you get a new library and the Fremantle Library does get a bit of use. But a complete rebuild instead of a refit is a bit of a joke and the numbers don’t justify the spend. The recent article states quite clearly that spending this volume of money without any real scrutiny and checking doesn’t concern them, they are only interested in social change and the so called unidentifiable and non-concrete benefits it ‘might’ bring.

    There are also all these questions about the staff parking and how all of that is free and paid for by the ratepayers. It so completely smacks of double standards when you look at what is going on with the parking situation in Fremantle and the costs. How much money is lost through free parking for staff? This is one matter which should be addressed by the City of Fremantle council, but they are too gutless to bring an item at council and tell the CEO that the City Staff need to pay for their own parking if they want to drive a car in.

    These are ALL questions which the Mayor and CEO are avoiding and don’t want to answer, as they have no answer.

    They would be better leaving the majority of the money from the project/sales in the bank, update and upgrade the City offices ‘as needed’. Stop the sell off, of the City’s asset base currently to fund it. Start refocusing on Rates, Roads and Rubbish and concentrate on delivering and driving the rates down for each and every rate payer over the next few years.

    How about a yearly 3% rate reduction and a drive to get the City of Fremantle rates in line with other councils over the next 5 years. Nope, they would rather expose the City’s funds to risk by buying into the residential Match development.

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