Tuesday, August 15, 2006

City rents luxury apartments for staff to experience the high life

devoid of reality John So and Co demonstrate they have no control

More extra-ordinary revelations exposed about the mismanagement of the Melbourne City Council under the governance of John So and co.

How long can the City administration continue to go on unchecked and without accountability.

The list of mismanagement and waste is never ending as the City Council shows that it has lost all touch of reality and is out of control. John So and co continue to demonstrate that they have no idea how to manage the affairs of the City adding to concern that direct election of Lord Mayor does not deliver good governance. Spring Street must be beginning to wonder if it did the right thing when it adopted a direct election model. It is time the City Council and its representative structure is subjected to a serious review. Hopefully this will take place as soon as the State election in November is over and Victoria appoints a Local Government Minister that takes a serious look at the structure of the Melbourne City Council and its boundaries.

Its time to reconsider amalgamations and a greater Melbourne City Council. One that is professional and representative.

MCC luxury rent plan cops blustein Kelly, city editor

August 12, 2006 12:00am

LOCAL residents are outraged that Melbourne City Council investigated renting an apartment on the Docklands waterfront so staff could "experience life" at the precinct.

City chief executive David Pitchford this week confirmed he discussed the possibility with prominent Docklands developer MAB Corporation.

Mr Pitchford said he thought "it may be a good idea to possibly give City of Melbourne staff a chance to experience life at Docklands".

The plan was for staff to "get to know Docklands better" by staying in a serviced apartment before the council regains control of the suburb from the State Government next July 1.

While the deal did not proceed, residents are furious the city considered wasting ratepayers' money on the exercise.

And former lord mayor Kevin Chamberlin called on the council to instead rent a unit in a high-rise Carlton housing estate to learn about city issues.

Docklands is only five minutes by tram from Melbourne Town Hall.

Mr Pitchford said "the level of detail of who was going to stay, and for how long, was not considered".

He said the only discussion in relation to payment was that the City of Melbourne would have paid whatever the market rate was.

"This was simply an idea I floated. We have now decided not to proceed with this idea."

Mab's prices range from $1120 a week for a one-bedroom serviced apartment to $2300 a week for three bedrooms.

Mr Chamberlin said it was clearly an inappropriate use of ratepayers' money.

"It's clear the Melbourne City Council has lost contact with the electorate to come up with crazy ideas like this," he said.

"If the council really wants to know how inner Melbourne works, they'd be better off renting an apartment in a high-rise housing estate in Carlton.

"Then they'd have unsurpassed views over the City of Melbourne, not like the Docklands where you have unsurpassed views over adjoining municipalities."

Southbank Residents Group president Joe Bagnara hit out at the idea, saying council staff should instead visit by day and take the free city circle tram.

"It's incomprehensible. They're away with the fairies on occasion. They could get on the city circle tram and it wouldn't cost anything at all," he said.

"Maybe they need to go have a look at their upcoming liability, because Docklands is going to be a liability.

"But they don't need to spend a month down there. A day-and-a-half would be enough."

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