The Victorian State Government seeks to acquire 43 Million Dollars of Melbourne City Council's capital reserves to fund speculative private/commercial development, further reducing the Council's working capital ratio.
The Age - $1 Billion Mini-City Along the Yarra
Whilst the city needs investment one has to seriously question if Council's priority should be on underwriting State Government - private investment speculative projects.
If the project is viable then why is the City of Melbourne is being asked to make a contribution and what are the overall benefits?
Melbourne City Council is still paying for Federation Square which has been a financial disaster and a project that was ill-conceived and poorly managed.
More questions then answers
Ratepayers of the City of Melbourne need to know if they are to committee 43 Million Dollars what is the return rate for their investment and will the City be equal partners/shareholders and will the City Council see real dividends from any commercial activity/profit? Or is the City Council expected to just chip in and meet the costs of external infrastructure and forgo and real profits in effect providing the State G0vernment and private developers with a free access to Council's reserves?
43 Million dollars wisely invested elsewhere can return significant dividends.
It is incumbent n the State Government and the City of Melbourne to publish a prospectus providing full details of the costs and economic viability of the project, and not hide behind commercial confidentiality, before committing to any joint partnership development project.
Anything short of full disclosure should be met by the City Council with stiff resistance and refusal to fund the project.