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Thoughts about Moreland City's capacity to pay for the "Strip" proposal.

And some second thoughts

References are made to the City of Joondalup in WA, where a dual use path renovation of similar magnitude was undertaken in 2009/2010.

The table below extracted from Moreland's 2011/2012 budget report, shows $23 million of expenditure that has relevance to the costs of the proposal.

Highlights of Moreland City Capital Works program 2011/2012 include:
Expenditure on structures and buildings, including pavilion upgrades, aquatic and leisure improvements plan$11.27 million
Expenditure on roads, including footpath repairs and reconstructions, roads to recovery projects and road re-surfacing:$7.40million
Expenditure on open space, including irrigation works and sports ground lighting:$4.34 million
Total$23.01 million

There are reasonable grounds to estimate the costs to develop the "Strip" will be in the low millions, perhaps $2 to $3 millions, or less.

  1. Ordinary commercial quotes for paving, fencing and plant provision and planting, total $700,000, leaving planning, earthmoving, lighting and incidental costs to be estimated. $2 to $3 million seems a generous total.

  2. City of Joondalup (WA) agenda 19th May 2009. (See note)

    "That Council ACCEPTS the Tender submitted by Downer EDI Works Pty Ltd for the Construction of a Dual Use Path Upgrade - West Coast Drive in accordance with the statement of requirements as specified in Tender 005/09 for the fixed lump sum of $2,650,336.51 (GST Exclusive) for completion of the works within eleven (11) weeks from issue of the letter of acceptance. The West Coast Drive dual use path runs parallel with the Indian Ocean along West Coast Drive for 1.8 km. The path is in high demand for public recreation activities such as walking, running and cycling. The upgrade works include the construction of limestone retaining walls, upgrading of the dual use path and pathway lighting, installation of shade structures, balustrades, new beach accesses and street furniture."

    Author's note: The existing dual use path was about 2.5M wide, red-bitumenised and in reasonable condition. It was fenced and lit but not to an aesthetically pleasing standard. This upgrade involved re-paving, construction of extensive limestone walls on the ocean side, realignment of the adjacent road with new concrete kerbing, architect designed fencing and lighting, and a number of shelters.

    This table shows that the City of Joondalup has similar population and revenues to Moreland and almost twice the area.
    Rate revenue$75million$98million
    Total revenue$116 million$138 million

The Strip proposal by its nature can be implemented progressively over a few years if necessary without significant additional costs or public inconvenience. It follows that if an assumed high side cost of $3 million was evenly distributed an annual allocation of $750,000 is adequate. This is 3.2% of the relevant allocations shown in the highlights table, an amount that should be able to be accommodated. This note makes no allowance for funding from other sources such as State and Federal Governments and even Vic Track.

The following extract shows that the expenditure is consistent with the aims of the council.

From MORELAND CITY COUNCIL Adopted Budget 2011/2012 a Report
Itallicised items are satisfied in whole or part by the proposal

Strategic Focus AreaKey Strategic Objectives
  • Collaborate with the community and respond actively to climate change.
  • Facilitate housing that meets the needs of the community.
  • Effective use of our land use and development policies for outcomes appropriate to the long term needs of the communities.
  • Improve transport and mobility.
  • Facilitate the development of the local economy and jobs.
  • Maintain and enhance appropriate infrastructure and open space.
  • Foster greater community resilience.
  • Foster community creativity.
  • Celebrate what makes Moreland great.
  • Engage the community and the organisation to make Moreland a proud and cleaner city.
  • Appropriately respond to the population health needs of people at all stages.
  • Ensure appropriate aged services
  • Invest in our young people.
  • Ensure that the community has access to a range of educational opportunities to maximize their potential.
  • Facilitate peoples access to an appropriate range of services that meet their needs.
  • Ensure that the community has access to a range of sporting and recreational opportunities to maximize their potential.
  • Facilitate community connection and engagement.
  • Align financial resources of Council to meet the needs of the community now and into the future.
  • Improve services to citizens.
  • Leverage technology to improve service delivery.
  • Maintain a clear transparent and ethical decision making and performance management framework.
  • Foster a motivated, responsive, innovative and performance oriented workplace culture.
  • Align and implement organizational plans.


Second thoughts - Someone else should pay!

With minor exceptions the area we are considering is wholly railway property owned on behalf of the citizens of Victoria by Vic Track and managed and maintained by Metro Trains Melbourne and its predecessors. (Requires verification)

It seems taken for granted that money will be spent on road maintenance, modern public facilities and on new railway stations. Why not on the routes through which the railways travel, and the stations provided for their patrons?

It's true that weeds are mowed occasionaly and another coat of paint slapped on the aging station surrounds, but there is no attempt to keep up with what a 2012 public is due for maintenance of its property.

Not only does our present day local railway environment show signs of poor maintenance but also deliberate abandonment of what was once there.

Brunswick and Jewell stations are basically the elegant buildings opened in 1884, but now have windows and doorways from that age crudely bricked up. Garden boxes built on the platforms, and at one time flourishing, are now just boxes of sterile earth.

There will be an explanation - vandalism - but isn't that just an excuse for inadequate maintenance expenditure?

Standards have changed. It is no longer acceptable for the public to accept rough weeds and crude stations and environments in central suburban areas. If the easement owners and operators are unable or unwilling to do the job properly they should cede all required land to the custody of groups who care, and contribute financially to an extent that will revitalise our neighbourhoods.