Freo's View

FREO CITY NEEDS TO PRIORITISE SPENDING

Posted in city of fremantle, economy, finances, local government by freoview on November 10, 2016

It appears the dire financial situation of the City of Fremantle has shocked some elected members with Councillor Doug Thompson even questioning at the FPOL Committee if the City needed to spend the relatively small sum of $ 54,000 on the first stage of a new club building at Parry Street for the Fremantle Workers, Tennis and Bowling clubs, which is a financial collaboration of the Workers Club, CoF and Department of Recreation and Sport.

Becoming financially more prudence is clearly required and Councillors and officers need to sit down and prioritise expenditure and find savings.

Councillors might have to reconsider the purchase of one or two of the Warders Cottages as community benefits for that are questionable since the cottages are tiny and have limited community use and hence will create limited income for the City but constant expenditure.

While the sale of the Knutsford Street depot will create a big sum of income for the city it might want to reconsider building a new administration building at Kings Square and compromise by extending the present one.

The present building boom will over time see a substantial rate increase for the City with more people buying residential and commercial property in Fremantle, but that is still many years away from making a positive impact on the City’s finances.

Fremantle is in a transformative state of substantial development that will see the City grow and prosper with more tourist, residential and office accommodation. That will also boost the retail and hospitality industries, but council expenditure needs to be more focussed and that can start with the administration increasing its performance in most areas and reducing the costs of external consultants, etc.

It is fantastic to have big plans and dreams for Fremantle, but financial reality has to come first so let’s put a focus group together that will make recommendations to Council on how to improve the City’s financial performance.

Roel Loopers

4 Responses

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  1. freoview said, on November 10, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    Yes but the construction of the Hilton Hotel would make a mess of part of it again, so why not wait till after that is finished.

    Roel

  2. David. said, on November 10, 2016 at 7:04 pm

    Why delay the Princess May park project ? The East End needs an area that is a nice place to ‘be’. With DADDA coming in, it would make the place for East End residents and the arts community moving in.

  3. freoview said, on November 10, 2016 at 9:56 am

    I believe it can start by not buying one or two Warders Cottages, by not building the unnecessary hospitality venue at the Esplanade, charge proper commercial fees for commercial events being held in public spaces, reduce the use of external consultants, delay Princess May masterplan work,reduce the expenditure on One Planet gimmicky projects, go back to basic local government governance, demand more efficiency from all departments, etc.

    Roel

  4. Craig said, on November 10, 2016 at 8:12 am

    Financial fiduciary duties are paramount for councillors and hope they’re getting good advice.

    CoF budgeted profit for FY16 of $7.5m turned into an actual loss of $2m.

    FY16 operating expenditure shown in the cash flow statement has increased by $9m over FY15 while operating revenue has only increased by $0.9m over the same period.

    Questions should be asked to councillors & management to explain their plans to remediate the financial position and get the financial ratios going in the right direction and back into comparison with our councils.


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