Fremantle’s Mayors, Vague Response to Online Questions

We see online Brad’s vague comments to the month’s old, outstanding questions raised by Mr Lee in October last year.

I won’t try to paraphrase his comment so here it is in full.

As I understand it the contested area is the assumptions that were used to reach the outcome we did including a general rates uplift, 20 year timeframe, discounted rate of 5.5% and the value of enhanced Fremantle Council owned assets. If you assume the above then it is clear to see how we reached the stated rate of return and NPV. All of these assumptions were published in the business plan and could have been contested during the advertising period. Council, on the advice of City of Fremantle staff and independent experts was comfortable these assumptions were well justified.
Glen is on leave this week and he may want to provide a more technical response on his return.
The Minister for Local Government is now looking at this as well and assuming that after his review he also is comfortable with the business plan then that should give the Fremantle community further confidence that the Fremantle Council has got this right.
I think the scrutiny of this project is a good thing (despite it being rather delayed) given the size of the investment the Fremantle Council is looking to undertake but it probably doesn’t need to be done in a way that doesn’t start with the untrue assumption that the Fremantle Council isn’t been straight and trying to hide something. We have nothing to hide and our proud of the potential of this project for Freo. In my view the biggest challenge for Kings Sq is when will it get to start!
Cheers, Brad”

So what answers have we got from this;

  • A couple of lines recapping the business plan with lots of assumptions
  • Glens on holidays
  • The minister for LG is looking into it, sort of has too after questions in parliament where raised? But other than seeing the city has a business plan and tick the box yes Minister it’s here, I doubt from past experience they will be looking too deep?
  • Brad now thinks scrutiny is a good thing and they have nothing to hide. Well with everything out in the open now what choice do they have?
  • Also from a days old blog post, brad dropped Roel a link to the council website with the answers to nothing that was actually asked, this one is starting to sound like a Monty Python sketch, Nudge nudge, wink wink…….

So what do we make of this or what further questions can we ask from this?

  • The business plan we have, not the info/detail/reports, documents, minutes, attachments behind it, which is what Mr Lee was asking for, why is it hidden?
  • Happy Holidays Glen I’m sure he’s glad he’s on holidays right now
  • Well we know that the minister is looking at this issue, will he actually answer Mr Lees questions, what he needs to do is just instruct council to properly answer the questions before them from Mr Lee, if no one wants to do this, then the natural questions is WHY, what’s to hid???????
  • If the COF is so happy to answer the questions they get and think scrutiny is a good thing when why didn’t they just answer Mr Lee’s first round of questions; they are making one statement but their actions so far, tell another story.
  • Why did council drag this out, going on 7 months now, still not close to being resolved?
  • How much money is being spent on consultants and lawyers for the city to decide how they communicate with its residents?
  • Where does the Councils 1st obligation lie, to their residents and ratepayers (the electors) or private business?


Why has the council forced the residents to take this issue to the ministers for LG Office, Local MLA’s,,,,,?

  1. Have questions asked in Parliament?
  2. Raise questions to the press, writing thinking allowed pieces, comments pieces?
  3. Whole dialogues online in blogs etc?
  4. Why did they use the local paper to chastise or belittle a resident asking questions when they tell us they are happy to have been asked, so which was it defensive or inviting? Perhaps more offensive?
  5. Let’s not forget the request that council was talking up for a $3million investment in Match before council had even met to discuss the issue, then it dropped suddenly as the public asks questions and the same day the questions on COF hit parliament.

After all of this now we should believe that they want to have an open discussion, that they like scrutiny on this issues, I wonder what Mr Lees opinion on this would be 7 months after he wrote an email to council asking a couple of simple questions on their business plan.

Yes how could anyone possibly come to the assumption that the Fremantle Council isn’t been straight with its electors and trying to hide something?

Perhaps the Minster for Local Government needs to read his own quote in a press release on the 26/02/2015 “The Minister described the Commission’s report as a “wake-up call”.

This said perhaps Minister you should just follow the recommendation the commission gave recommending “that the jurisdiction of the Auditor General be extended to specifically include local government, thus bringing Western Australia into line with Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria.  The proposed change echoes previous recommendations made by the Public Accounts Committee in 2006.”

CCC warns of council corruption – The West Australian

CCC warns of council corruption – The West Australian.

Its good news to see that the auditor general will now be extending its reach to local government.

Last Wednesday night at Fremantle city council again Bill Massie asked well if we are voting on this item, what will be the cost to roll it out, the answer through the chair was they would get back to him. Wouldn’t good governance require for to be properly informed about something before you make a decision and it would seem to me cost is quite a big part of things.

Bill went on further as the response was they would find out about the cost, was well what budget is it coming out of? Seems like a logical question right? He was then told they had a budget for the item, Bill Massie responded, well if you turn to page 60 of the agenda its says under risks and implications that you currently have no budget for it. Which is it? No real response to that, so my question is how do you vote on things when you have no idea about the cost impact will be and where the money will come from?

Bill voted against the item, all the rest of the votes were for the motion.

Which voting style do u think showed good governance?

Do you think this is a sustainable practise?

How many other decisions has council voted on without understanding the cost implications of doing so?

Perhaps this is where ideology gets in way of practises, like good governance?

A quote from the article,,,,,

“Local government is set for a dramatic external intervention into financial affairs after a corruption report warned councils were routinely open to rorting because of weak governance.”


Governance 22

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