Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Big Spenders

City Council spends up big on Games

Melbourne City Council spends over $4 Million opn Gasmes parties. Herald-Sun Newspaper March 8, 2006

Melbourne shouts a $4m party
Shaun Phillips

MELBOURNE City Council will spend $4 million on public parties and celebrations in its $31 million Commonwealth Games budget.

The big-ticket item is a $3 million contribution to the river parade that will form part of Wednesday's Opening Ceremony.
Some $315,000 will be spent on a street party to welcome the Queen's Baton Relay on the eve of the ceremony.

Estimates last August put the cost at $120,000.

The council hopes tens of thousands of people will congregate on the corner of Bourke and Elizabeth streets from 5.30pm on Tuesday.

Paul McDermott, Christine Anu, Mark Seymour and Rogue Traders will perform.

The council will spend $500,000 on the Moomba parade for Monday. An Indian festival on Saturday will cost $90,000.

The council will host a cocktail party reception for Australian athletes on Monday night.

The council revealed the cost of 12,000 potted plants to be placed around the city in 375 crates had risen to $200,000, up from $160,000.

About $19 million of the budget has gone to capital projects including Bourke St mall, Queensbridge square, and Sandridge and Princes bridges.

More than 10km of road and footpaths have been resurfaced for the marathon and cycling races.

Almost $5 million will be spent on operations, including employing 320 contractors to work around the clock clearing an estimated 500 tonnes of rubbish.

The council will spend $170,000 hosting guests from around the world at Games events.

Lord Mayor John So said he hoped two of 72 giant fish moored in the Yarra for the opening ceremony would find a permanent home near the Melbourne Aquarium.

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