Council considering investment projects
There has been some confusion with the City of Karratha council’s position on two major investment projects we are considering: the purchase of The Quarter and development of the Homemaker Centre at Gap Ridge.
The council has not made a decision on either proposal and will not do so for some time.
As a local government, we are subject to strict laws to ensure an open and transparent process when making any significant financial transaction.
As part of this, we have opted to ask for public feedback on both projects and have prepared a business plan, which outlines the benefits and risks to ratepayers for each.
The council will not decide whether to go ahead with a bid for The Quarter until the end of next month. The process we are taking with the Homemaker Centre is extensive, as is indicated in our business plan, and a final decision to proceed is not likely until next year.
The council is also free to discontinue the process at any stage and has to date opted only to fund a business plan and public consultation.
The next phase of the work, if it proceeds, is the detailed feasibility study, which will involve demand analysis, detailed discussions with possible tenants, leasing and financial arrangements, design and detailed project costings.
The council would need a minimum number of long-term lease agreements to be signed before it began any building works. There are several advantages of these projects.
Firstly, we can obtain a far better return on our savings, which can then be returned to ratepayers.
Secondly, we can provide more local jobs and better retail offerings for our community: inadequate retail options remains consistently in the top three negative aspects of living in our city. Finally, if we own and manage these assets, we will look after them properly and we will not penalise local businesses or co-locate similar businesses.
We want to look after our businesses and community, and this is one avenue to do that, provided the community wants it.