FOR­REST ST CARPARK ON HOLD

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page - By ROSANNA CAN­DLER

A CON­TRO­VER­SIAL For­rest Street carpark re­de­vel­op­ment has been sus­pended af­ter the project’s ini­tial bud­get blew out and coun­cil­lors planned a re­vo­ca­tion mo­tion. Su­bi­aco Coun­cil awarded Ad­van­teer­ing Civil En­gi­neers the $574,609 ten­der to start the first stage of civil works at a meet­ing last week. How­ever, chief ex­ec­u­tive Ian Hill yes­ter­day said the project was on hold. “Fol­low­ing a pos­si­ble re­vo­ca­tion mo­tion and pend­ing a re­view of the fi­nan­cial pro­vi­sions for the pro­posed works, a fur­ther re­port will be con­sid­ered at the next coun­cil meet­ing on April 21,” Mr Hill said. Cr Mur­ray Rowe, who ini­ti­ated the re­vo­ca­tion mo­tion last week, said $100,000 to de­mol­ish two build­ings on the site was ini­tially part of the first-stage bud­get, but was in­stead car­ried out sep­a­rately. “The de­ci­sion we made last week just didn’t add up, so Ian has some work to do on in­ter­nal check­ing and ac­count­ing,” Cr Rowe said. “To be hon­est, I am re­lieved this is on hold be­cause I would like to see a re­view of the whole project. “This will end up cost­ing $1.5 mil­lion, and we’re only talk­ing about creat­ing seven new car bays. “We are about to have hun- dreds of bays dis­ap­pear­ing from the city cen­tre when Ace Cin­ema is de­mol­ished next month, 99 bays from Pavil­ion Mar­kets and park­ing from the Sed­don Street de­vel­op­ments when they be­gin. This is ab­so­lutely the wrong time.” Cr Mark Burns said the bud­get bun­gle meant the first stage of works had gone al­most 35 per cent over bud­get. “To be spend­ing mil­lions of dol­lars on a se­condary carpark when Rokeby Road and its re­tail­ers suf­fer the blight of 20 years with­out hav­ing a cent spent on it is an out­rage,” Cr Burns said. At the meet­ing, Cr Scott Ar­buckle said the carpark was an eye­sore that needed ur­gent at­ten­tion. “This plan has been worked to death within an inch of my pa­tience,” Cr Ar­buckle said. “If this mo­tion doesn’t suc­ceed, I will lose all con­fi­dence in this coun­cil’s abil­ity to make a de­ci­sion.”

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