.

WITH reference to the letter (“Need for Bunjil”, News, 2 July), we refute the statements of the mayor, Cr Mick Morland.
1. This Precinct is an unwanted structure which is being forced on the community without proper funding (only $10 million funded by the Federal Government ) without taking into account of where the balance of $115 million will come from. An email received from the Manager Legal Services(Rob Pedder) has stated that under the Local Government Act the council can undertake borrowings to fund its operations or capital works. This funding/borrowing will fall on all ratepayers. Note: An email to the Mayor on June 16, asking why was an amount of $35,774,000 for Bunjil Place being budgeted in the Draft Budget? Email from Rob Pedder (Manager Legal Sevices) has said that the estimated construction expenditure is $25.5 million. WHY? This is being added to the rates. The ex-mayor Geoff Ablett has clearly indicated that the cost of this building will not result in rate increases. Another misuse of ratepayers’ money.
2. Statistics show that the City of Casey has a population of 283,000 and as the Mayor has said that the council has engaged an independent research firm which conducted a telephone survey of 300 people as well as an analysis of 200 online responses of residents living in Casey, 82 per cent of respondents agreed for a need of a cultural and community precinct in south-east Melbourne. This is a blatant stupidity on the part of council to go ahead with this project with just 82 per cent of the 500 people when Casey has a population of 283,000. When we asked for proof of this survey, council was not able to comply.
3.There are three council offices and many libraries operating, surely there is no need for such an extravagant building to be constructed to house new offices and a library. WASTE OF RATEPAYERS’ MONIES.
4. Late last year we had asked this question of council if this building was to go ahead what will be the running cost of this precinct? NO RESPONSE.
Dunstan Girton and Louis Kotsiras,
On behalf of the Residents and Ratepayers of the City of Casey,
Hampton Park.

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