Kings Sq, Lots of Questions but No Answers, Fremantle Council Why??


On Roel’s Freoview most recent blog in regards to Kings Sq, Brad writes:

“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.”

This post raises questions why is it just repeating the business plans basics this is not the question and certainly does not answer any questions raised?
If all of the assumptions have been published in the Business Plan, perhaps the Mayor could explain to the rate payers and residents, his electors, the ones he is supposedly representing what could still be confidential? The spreadsheet simply takes the assumptions and turns them into cash flows, NPVs and rates of return. In that case, the spreadsheet you think must contain nothing of a confidential nature.

Even if you don’t give us the specifics, just tell us what subject matter is still confidential. It’s not a trick question is it?

The Business Case presented by Leedwell at the 5 November 2012 Council meeting should likewise also contain nothing of a confidential nature. So why can’t we see it?

If there is some crucial piece of information of a confidential nature that has not been included in the Business Plan, and this is the missing key to the puzzle, then it is obviously impossible for rate payers to be able to calculate the NPV and rate of return. How can we make an informed decision, if are not able to have access to all the facts

So, which is it? The Mayor states that it is “clear to see how we reached the stated rate of return and NPV.” In that case, what could possibly be confidential? You cannot have it both ways! All I can see is smoke and mirrors, spin and sleight of hand, good for the Friday markets but not with rate payer’s assets and funds.

As for needing more legal advice, how much more do their need to be able to communicate with the rate payers? Could the Mayor please explain what could possibly have changed since they drafted Mr. Lees now public response, since the Mayor last refused to provide the requested information on the grounds of confidentiality? The answer is obviously “Nothing”. Is this just another attempt for the Mayor to buy more time to avoid answering the questions? is this just a delaying tactic, hoping or maybe knowing that the minister will tick the Business Plan is there box, as he did last time, which still does not answer any of the real questions? It just casts a longer shadow of suspicion.

How long does the Mayor intend to keep up this charade?

Also, is Council perhaps now starting to distance itself from the contents of the Business Plan, by pointing the finger at “advice of City of Fremantle staff and independent experts”. Has the Mayor simply been relying on advice when accepting the NPV and Rate of Return figures, or did he satisfy himself that the figures are correct? Not an ideal time for staff to be on holidays… perhaps a busy week next week. What a waste of everyone’s time, purely because the council isn’t being transparent.

I wonder how much all of this evasive action is costing us the ratepayer, imagine needing legal advice, for a Mayor to tell the electorate what is happening in its own city. Every time you see Law and Order and someone needs a lawyers advice to answer simple a question, what’s that telling US, what goes through your mind?

If there is nothing to hide, answer the questions and provide the spreadsheet and Leedwell Business Case to rate payers. If you don’t, what else are we left to think, obviously the COF must be hiding something?

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