The saga and waste of Bass Coast Shire Council’s “path to nowhere” project at Anderson continues.
The council spent $300,000 on it last year and has advertised for contractors to do more works this year at a cost of nearly $500,000.
And, even after the new works are finished, the path will still “go nowhere”.
They are building a path that nobody ever wanted and that nobody can use. That’s a waste of $800,000.
This is all occurring at a time when council is reducing its expenditure on roads, drains, parks and paths.
This year, the council will spend $10 million which is down by almost $1 million on last year.
And, the council is forecasting further reductions in Capital Works next year.
However, the council continues to outlay a staggering amount of $29 million on staff costs. That’s equal to three times the amount they spend on infrastructure.
Council has rightly kept on raising rates in line with inflation in an endeavour to get ahead.
But the $46 million it raises in rates is rapidly consumed by the staff costs.
Clearly the funding for infrastructure is insufficient, as demonstrated by council recently ripping up bitumen streets rather than trying to fix them.
The costs of council’s bureaucracy will continue to balloon at 9 per cent per year, its ability to build new things will diminish and the residents will continue to be frustrated that their priorities are not being heard or considered.
So the “path to nowhere” debacle demonstrates that the council has its priorities all wrong.
How many kilometres of streets could be fixed for the $0.8 million wasted on the “path to nowhere”?
Thankfully, State and Federal Government grants of $13 million will bail the council out this year and the council will balance its budget.
But the bottom line is that not enough of the council’s funds are being used to build urgently needed infrastructure and it cannot continue to rely on external sources of funds to deliver the “basics”.
The new CEO has a lot of work to do to slim down his team of more than 320 full time employees to a sustainable number so that ratepayers see more of their rates being committed to tangible benefits and improvements in our community.
Ray McNamara, San Remo.