Kings Square deal ‘crazy’ | Fremantle Herald Interactive

02-22news-featured

KINGS SQUARE DEAL ‘CRAZY’ by the Fremantle Herald

FORMER Fremantle mayor Peter Tagliaferri has broken cover to declare Fremantle council’s plans for Kings Square are “crazy, seriously” and a “disaster waiting to happen”.

Source: Kings Square deal ‘crazy’ | Fremantle Herald Interactive

Well that says it all, front page of one of Fremantle’s local papers.

Comments from an Ex Mayor.

Questions in Parliament.

Secret hidden documents by council.

Letters to the Minister for local government.

9 months of unanswered questions from members of the public.

The Mayor and CEO public berating a member of the public for asking questions they are still yet to answer.

$30 Million question on the councils business plan

Millions in lost revenue from Queensgate?

No transparency from council

Council reporting different cost figures from the how the business was calculated.

A $2.35 million park bench

Who came up with the magic $97,500,000.00 figure?

The list of questions just goes on and on, the more you look the worse it gets.

Now an Ex Freo Mayor saying the plan is too risky an investment for the city and a crazy idea, better still he warned them before they did it, why ask advice and then not take it when its given?

Its getting clearer why the Leedwell business is being kept hidden, did they warn the council not to proceed too?

Ministers, Fizzle Not Sizzle

 

Straight up, how lame can a Minister be?

You sort of see why amalgamation flopped in WA, just check out the response he gave to serious concerns by multiple levels of the Fremantle’s rate payers and residents.

First the questions asked by Peter Tinley on behave of the electors of Fremantle, followed by the Ministers for Local Government response.

Question from Tinley to Minister for Local Government

(1) Is the Minister aware of community concerns over how the City of Fremantle has represented the financial implications of their $45 million investment of ratepayer funds in its Kings Square Business Plan, and if so, what action has the Minister taken to address these concerns?
(2) Has the Minister directed the City of Fremantle to answer legitimate ratepayer questions concerning the Kings Square Business Plan, and if not, why not?
(3) Has the Minister conducted a full and proper investigation into the questions raised with regard to the Kings Square Business Plan:
(a) if so, what were the findings; and
(b) if not, why not?
(4) Is the Minister satisfied that the Kings Square Business Plan:
(a) accurately represents the financial implications that the $45 million project will have on the City of Fremantle’s asset base; and
(b) correctly represents the rate of return and net present value derived from this investment of ratepayer funds?
(5) Is the Minister satisfied that the Kings Square Business Plan contains sufficient detail for ratepayers and Councillors to properly understand whether this project increases or decreases the asset base of the City of Fremantle, and if so, for what reason?

Answered on 5 May 2015 By Minister for Local Government

(1) Yes, I have received correspondence from the Fremantle Residents and Ratepayers Association on this matter.
(2) No, theLocal Government Act 1995confers limited powers and authority for me to intervene or direct a local government in the performance of functions it is legally entitled and empowered to undertake.
(3) No
(a) Not applicable
(b) See answer to question 2 above
(4)(a)-(b) My Department of Local Government and Communities has not undertaken any analysis of the financial assumptions in the plan.
(5) The principal consideration for me, as Minister for Local Government, is whether the City has acted contrary to the Local Government Act 1995in its handling of the matter. The materials that have been forwarded to me do not demonstrate that the City has acted unlawfully or in a manner that is contrary to the Act.

My comments on minister responses

  1. The Minister has no comments on FRRA concerns or questions and it seems he has no interest in taking any action, not even having a look, seems too much to ask, to look into FFRA concern of $45 million dollars of ratepayers assets and/or funds, why is he not interested in FRRA concerns, why would he not seek the truth?
  2. A simple no, FRRA was not asking the minister, to stop the project or change it, just to have the City of Fremantle to answer simple questions that had been asked, pretty simple right? So a minister, who’s fiduciary duty is to oversee the portfolio of Local Government, it appears that simple questions are beyond the ability or scope of said Minister, imagine being a minister of a department that doesn’t have ability to ask questions of what it overseas? Classic? Bad enough a council ignores ratepayers questions now a minister who’s not even able to ask why they didn’t answer the questions asked?
  3. No, amazing a $30,000,000.00 question, the minister is not even interested in looking at the issue, just recently it was reported that “A spokeswoman for Mr Simpson said the proposal to extend the Auditor-General’s role to local government had merit and he would recommend it to the Government.”

So in one breath the minister wants the AG to have oversight for local government, in the next he is not even interested in looking at $30,000,000.00, questions raised to his office in regards to a business plan made by the COF, maybe if it’s the AG doing the heavy lifting its ok but  not but such a great idea when the ministers got to carry the load?

  1. No again, why would the minister’s office not have done any analysis on this issue especially when the question were laid out on a plate for them? Are they worried about what they will find, if everything was hunky dory, why not look and say nothing to see here folks? Now if he doesn’t even want to look that sounds pretty worrying, doesn’t it, are they worried what they will find? Is this a Pandora’s Box?
  2. Well it seems the minister is taking a leaf out the city of Fremantle’s book here and answered a question that was not asked, read the question, then his answer, seriously, I expect spin or distraction from COF but now the minister too?

Side bar I note that the minister and the City of Fremantle had their responses go public on the same day, must be a coincidence, right?

 

Fremantle City’s D Day

Today in parliament the minister for local government Tony Simpson is due to answer the questions on the COF Kings Sq Business Plan he was asked in parliament last March by Peter Tinley the member for Willagee.

What’s more important is the residents and rate payers of Fremantle and come to think of it all of Western Australia will find out if the Minister for Local Government stands for good governance, accountability, transparency, true representation, responsible financial due diligence, for the residents and ratepayers, or will he allow the city of Fremantle to continue on its course of hiding behind confidential meetings, hidden documents and secret reports.

The residents and rate payers of Fremantle have asked simple questions of the city of Fremantle over the last 7 months + and over this time have received no answers, to not even one question.

What is it that the city has to hide, why the secrecy? Where will they try to spin this story too next?

Why is it after 7 months of ratepayers question there are no answers but we see in the media, quotes of answers next week? How is this possible, I wonder if the city has engaged professional help in answering these questions, if so at what cost? As it seems there Media or PR staff are busy with some  attempts at distraction over the last few weeks?

Why would the minister not assist the residents in their questions to find the truth?

If not the minister for local government who do residents go to when being stone walled by their council? Why do we need a minister for local government if he is not able to even assist in a simple but basic issue like getting reasonable questions asked?

If real answers do not come in due course the minister and council would be naive, to think these questions will go away.

Today we get to see what good governance means to the minister

 

Question On Notice No. 3834 asked in the Legislative Assembly on 25 March 2015 by Mr P.C. Tinley

Question Directed to the: Minister for Local Government
Question Directed to: Hon A.J. Simpson
Minister responding: Hon A.J. Simpson
Parliament: 39 Session: 1

Question

(1) Is the Minister aware of community concerns over how the City of Fremantle has represented the financial implications of their $45 million investment of ratepayer funds in its Kings Square Business Plan, and if so, what action has the Minister taken to address these concerns?
(2) Has the Minister directed the City of Fremantle to answer legitimate ratepayer questions concerning the Kings Square Business Plan, and if not, why not?
(3) Has the Minister conducted a full and proper investigation into the questions raised with regard to the Kings Square Business Plan:
(a) if so, what were the findings; and
(b) if not, why not?
(4) Is the Minister satisfied that the Kings Square Business Plan:
(a) accurately represents the financial implications that the $45 million project will have on the City of Fremantle’s asset base; and
(b) correctly represents the rate of return and net present value derived from this investment of ratepayer funds?
(5) Is the Minister satisfied that the Kings Square Business Plan contains sufficient detail for ratepayers and Councillors to properly understand whether this project increases or decreases the asset base of the City of Fremantle, and if so, for what reason?

Fremantle CEO Clanger

Homer-Simpson-wingnuts-doh

I wish I can say I was surprised by the reported comment in the Fremantle Gazette today from Fremantle’s CEO Graeme Mackenzie but I’m not.

The fact that someone has raised a $30,000,000.00+ question on the city’s Kings Square Business Plan (KSBP) and over the last 7+ months and the city (COF) has repeatedly failed to answer even 1(one) question is alarming. The fact the COF, CEO and Mayor Brad have failed to answer any of these questions is incredible, further to see them personally attack that rate payer for patiently asking the questions over 3 months, initially and over 7 months now in total makes you wonder what going on?

When you read the article and see comments that from the CEO it’s “too late to ask questions” you have to ask why?  A resident has question how the KSBP makes a positive NPV of just over $4 million, when his calculation comes out with a negative $30 million NPV. I’m not sure what lenses Graeme is referring to but it must be a hell of a kaleidoscope he is looking thought to get such different figures.

Whether the city has a contract or not again is not relevant to the questions being asked. Or the future ones that are doing to be asked. As currently the real question are around “Good governance: transparency, accountability, consultation and responsible Council management of assets and rates.”

They always seem to say the right words, we appreciate the questions, we appreciate public interest, thank you for the question but it’s their action that tell the real story personal media attacks on residents, refusing to answer the questions they appreciated you asking.

Statements like this are worrying as if the plan was so good why did Mr Lee not find the answers in the plan and why does the COF just not simply point out to Mr Lee what page of their comprehensive business plan has the answers. “In the interim, I need to make it clear that the business plan for this project was the most comprehensive business plan ever released by the City of Fremantle, containing information far exceeding the minimum requirements for a business plan produced by a local government,” he said. So either the business plan bar for facts is set real low or maybe the comprehensive part refers to the PR, glossy images and rhetoric, instead of in depth financials and economic details need to quantify the actual financial outcomes and impact on the COF finances?

So yet again we wait to see what answers we will get but note the CEO is quoted as saying “However, he said the City would release additional information to address some of Mr Lee’s questions in the coming weeks.” Not all the questions but SOME, not very reassuring after 7 months.

The question we need to have answered is the business plan as it was presented to council a true representation of the actual impact on the city’s finances. The financial facts could not have changed from then to now, sure interest rate may have land value may have but the documents behind the business plan are still the same surely?

The comment, It was based on the best information and knowledge at the time, so anyone now looking at the plan is not viewing it through the same time lens.”  Sounds like we may have a bit spin or change of impact on the City coming? This doesn’t change the business plan that was presented or the documents used to build that assumption.

The longer the COF drags this out the more doubt they put into the city and its future this issue should have been dealt with answers swiftly to get past it and get on with growing Fremantle, instead of leaving a veil, of secrecy, worry, questions and doubt. It can’t be good for trying to attract new development/business to the city while the COF leaves such issues unresolved?

All these issues will make it very interesting to see the answers to the questions still before the minister for Local Government Tony Simpson.

update Fremantle’s King Sq Links, Plenty of Q’s, & No A’s

Here is a quick reference to all the latest Kings Sq Questions, comments, articles etc.

Remember the real question is not whether we think Kings Sq is a good development or not, we all know Freo needs development the question is about the business plan. Is it a true a true reflection of the actual situation, does it deliver the financial outcome it portrays and why doesn’t the city of fremantle answer the these financial questions?

There are some good comments and questions on the blogs and articles, so read those too.

Its amazing so many questions and all the council could muster was a sarcastic type letter running down a resident who dares question parts of their Kings Sq business plan and of course Brad cleared up the whole situation (Not) with a couple of artist impressions of how it may look.

It will be interesting to see if any main stream outlets pick up and look into the story, most know about it but are just watching on at the moment. I find it amazing with some of the stories you see in the media, that this has not gathered more attention. Considering the question raises a $30,000,000.00+ difference in the business plan and over 7 months the COF have failed to answer any questions. That’s not news worthy, it’s 30% of the city yearly budget and 7 months of avoiding the real questions asked of a local government, so who looks after the best interests off the residents and rate payers? Where’s the transparency?

Well have a read, ask your own questions.

Questions in Parliament on City of Fremantle

Thinking allowed by Martin Lee, in Herald, Royal Pain

Thinking allowed by COF in herald, Kings Sq, its all about perspective

Martin lee letter to Herald,  Don’t be distracted, heraldonlinejournal.com/2015/04/10/letters-11-4-15/

Herald Article, Samson Rec centre to pay for new HQ

Kings concern, article in Herald

Match Stops council deal, article in the Herald

Smack Down in Freo

Kings sq, lots of questions but no answers, Fremantle council why?

Updated images for City of Fremantle civic, library and admin building | City of Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt’s Blog

Concerns over Kings Square raised – Community Newspaper Group

Fremantle’s Mayors, Vague Response to Online Questions

City of Fremantle’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Sequal

CITY OF FREMANTLE KINGS SQUARE LETTER | Freo’s View

Fremantle’s Kings Sq, Questions But No Answers, Just SPIN, SPIn, SPin,Spin

Fremantle Council Mauls Questioning Resident

King concerns | Fremantle Herald Interactive

Questions in Parliament on City of Fremantle

Concerns over Kings Square raised, article in gazette

FREO CITY GIVE US THE STRAIGHT KINGS SQUARE ANSWERS PLEASE , Freoview

LET’S GET THE FULL KINGS SQUARE STORY, Freoview

If you know of others let me know and I’ll add them in.

Amazing 7 months no answers. What’s to hide?

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