Community, Kings Square Presentation

 Kings Square Project Presentation

Below are the slides presented to various community groups at a presentation I attended a couple of weeks.

The idea of the presentation was not to say if the project is good or bad, whether it should proceed or not but to bring to a better or clearly understanding of the questions being asked about the projects business plan and the financial position is leaves the City of Fremantle(COF) in. It brings into question whether the NPV is a positive outcome that the COF states of $4million plus situation, or whether it leaves the COF with a $30million loss as has been questioned now quite publicly over the last months, or maybe somewhere in between?

The number that seems to get the COF to their positive NPV is the $97 million value in 20yrs time, is it just the building, land or both together, that’s seems also to be in debate? The other question is who came up with this figure to put into the spreadsheet, the consultant Leedwell or did it come from the COF? As it appears to be what gives them a positive NPV?

Now due to the COF keeping documentations and meetings secret, the questions asked, have not been answered and are still awaiting a clear informative response giving the facts needed to support the COF business case. All of the councillors would have had access to these documents as it was their vote that made them confidential and to keep them from our perusal.

There are some more questions that have come up since this issue started.

The city claims over its 20 year window their new planned city chambers, library etc., will double in value, not the land just the building. Yet the value given to the one building they now occupy is more or less worthless, how can a building that is not built double in value and the one they actually use is worthless?

They claim the Queensgate building site is also only worth land value though in 2013 it was producing an approx. $750,000 a year return, over 11% return on the asset. Now it is a worthless building only to be demolished and to be sold for land value?

The city has also chosen to ignore some of its own policies like SG14. Which is design to give guidance and a system to projects like this, but the committee SG14 calls for don’t seem to have met since 2008?

Anyway have a read, I hope this presentation makes the questions clearer for you and provides you a better understanding of what the business plan says and the questions that still more than 8 months after Mr. Lee started asking questions remain UNANSWERED.

The other startling outcome is the Minister for local government Tony Simpson who failed to answer the questions in parliament on these issues raised and it seems has no powers to even ask questions about the COF dealings in this Kings Sq issue. Ministers who can’t ask questions thats a new one or maybe he is worried about opening Pandora’s box and finding what else is hidden inside?

If ministers can’t even ask questions of an area they have fiduciary duty over, its not hard to see why Barnetts government is in the financial mess it is in?

A quick couple of quotes for the Ministers DLG websiteThe Department continues to play a key role in supporting local governments to plan for strong and sustainable communities, as well as promoting good governance and regulation. The highlight passage is from the ministers webpage, so in the rate payers and residents of Fremantle case the ministers has clearly failed to promote good governance and regulation.  “Established on 1 July 2013, with a clear mandate to deliver tangible outcomes in local communities.” as long as the tangible outcomes don’t require the minister to ask any questions or even worse seek out the answers.

This is slightly smaller version of what was shown covering the same info as presented by Mr Lee.


graphics from the COF business plan

Slide2 Slide3 Slide4 Slide5 Slide6 Slide7 Slide8 Slide9 Slide10 Slide11 Slide12 Slide13

Graphics from the COF business plan

Slides and presentation by Martin lee

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One comment

  1. Mark and Martin, you seriously need to try and get this presentation out to more people. This is a great presentation and outlines a lot of the facts and figures.

    I think one of the main issues with this whole Kings Square mess, is do we honestly ‘need’ a brand new council chambers building? I have heard from sources inside the council, that despite it being an older style building, its not needing a complete rebuild.

    This whole business of having a design competition is nothing more than a distraction away from the Fremantle Ratepayers shelling out, so council staff can have a brand new office complex to swan around in. Whats wrong with refitting out the existing Library?

    Spending $50 million on a council chambers for themselves and a small portion of that, probably no more than $3 million is going towards the library. All the while selling off 3 quite profitable assets.

    If more people knew the details of your presentation and you could go ahead to all of the precinct groups and present this, and any other group that would be willing to play host, I think you would find a lot of people would feel that they have had the wool pulled over their eyes by Pettitt and the rest of his supporters that are trying to push this through despite an obvious lack of a business case, and the general overall benefit for ratepayers.

    I doubt even Pettitt thinks this is such a brave and bold plan anymore. Its pretty obvious that even if Kings Square goes ahead, its not going to trigger some kind of 14th century renaissance. That’s just wishful thinking and gibberish by those on council who like to speak in flowery words like Josh Wilson. It will still be years and years and there’s no doubt it will help, eventually, when it eventuates, eventually in 20 years. But it realistically wouldnt matter what you did there (except if have a massive pop-up shop). But like you say, Queensgate and Spicers are realistically separate entities and it seems that they must have been clutching at straws and panicking when Sirona came along. Good timing on their part I guess. Possibly they sensed Fremantle was in dire straits and the Mayor and CEO were on their knees looking for anything to help prop the place up.

    Anyway, try and get the message out to other community groups and anyone else who is willing to listen.

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