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Byron Shire
May 9, 2021

Bypass costs unclear

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Fast Bucks, Coorabell

A few months ago I put in a public question [to Council] asking for a breakdown of costs re the bypass. As usual the Council’s reply consisted of evasive waffle; all we learned was that so far $3 million had been spent. Whether that was just for the construction, we weren’t told.

Looking last week at the propaganda video above the councils front counter, I noticed a claim that $17.5 million had been set aside in the 2019/2020 budget for the bypass. This is repeated in a brochure. That figure may not include the large amounts of pre-spending on lawyers and consultants that I previously referred to – for example $450k on a court hearing that should have cost only $50k.

On the other hand the contracted fee for actual construction is $14 million. We only know because, by law, Council is obliged to reveal the outcome of the tendering process. Yet when I again asked Council last week about an aspect of those costs, the senior Council staff member asserted again that the total cost of the bypass is $25 million. There is a huge gap between $14 and $25 million. You would think Council, acting in good faith, would go out of their way to clarify the figures.

Don’t of course ask the Greens to nail the stuff down; Simon Richardson won’t hear anything of challenge to his good mates the senior staff. That’s why we still don’t have any explanation for those ridiculously inflated legal fees I’ve complained about for over two years.

Last year I approached Simon during a break at a council meeting and tested him with the proposition that he was a bit like Ian Kingston and Tom Wilson. He reacted negatively. His reaction shows that he is aware that Ian and Tom made large mistakes and came into disfavour. Has he ever understood though the nature of those mistakes?

Well Simon, the basic mistake both of them made, was to get too cosy with senior staff.

Think about that and the old proposition that those who forget history are bound to repeat it.

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  1. Thankyou Fast Buck$ for your tireless committment that serves and inspires us all

    5 words come to mind of a serious nature

    ”Malfeasance of a public official’


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