Another Council Meeting has come and gone (10th April, 2012) without any meaningful discussion on GESAC progress and no opening date being announced. Not even the loose leaf insertion of the Pools Steering Committee (PSC) Meeting minutes of the 8th March, 2012.
20 days to go till the end of April, 2012, and an actual day date is not announced – the nebulous “by end of April” remains.
GESAC was only mentioned twice during last night’s meeting:
- Cr. Tang commented on the negative impact of lost GERA revenue when discussing the Financial Report for the Period Ending 29th February, 2012 (section 9.10 on the agenda, page 6 of the Financial Report). Cr. Tang pointed out that the reported $1.7m lost GESAC revenue was offset by reduced operating costs due to GESAC not being open. That Cr. Tang did not quantify the reduced operating costs is an omission that (as mentioned in our previous 28thMarch posting) raises some serious issues re open, transparent and accountable governance due to limited information being presented:
- what is included in “income expected from GESAC” when “GESAC Consulting Suite income” is treated as a separate item.
- if the budget includes cumulative lost revenue of $1.7m that is offset by a “GESAC delays in recruitment” cumulative saving of $0.95m then questions of the financial success of GESAC should be being asked. GERA estimates running costs of GESAC (interest on loans, hire purchase agreements, insurances, utility charges, pool chemicals and other consumable supplies etc. etc.) will likely exceed the approximate $0.8 million difference between the two presented figures.
2. A public question was raised by a resident. Council’s response to the resident, as read by the Mayor, is summarised as follows
- GESAC opening will not be staged – all facilities will be available for use
- GESAC will open at the end of April, 2012, on “practical completion”. (GERA comment – could this be interpreted as “pointing the finger” at the builder and makes GERA wonder if the builder and Council are communicating)
- no information on tasks outstanding or their timeline for completion was given.
If Council is as on top of GESAC as it claims to be then GERA is at loss to explain
- Why Council has only raised GESAC as public agenda item once in 2012 (at the 28th February, 2012 meeting)
- Why no Councillor raised the GESAC opening date issue at last night’s meeting (in response to residents/ratepayers and GESAC members clearly expressed angst, they should be publicly demanding information and a definitive opening date)
- Why no Councillor has asked questions on the budgeted and actual GESAC figures. (Councillors have a legal fiduciary duty).
The persistent failure of Council (Councillors and the Administration) to provide any meaningful information on GESAC
- does not hold much promise for an end April GESAC opening, and
- does not show any regard for residents/ratepayers and GESAC members concerns.