Draft Speech Direction for Item 11.10 Access to Information under s.12 of the Local
Government Act Ms S McKay (8556586)
It was a surprise to me when council denied access to information it said that
they would be happy to provide at a public rate rise meeting, in response to
questions posed in a 12 April 2006 email. If council requires supporting
letters to this effect I am willing to request and provide them.
It was also a concern as to why council wasted my time and provided what I
felt was a false sense of hope requesting that my questions be presented as a
s.12 application only to deny access just before rate rise submissions were
due (16 May 2006).
A further concern exists as to why airport leases were included as ‘revenue
projections’. One definition of projection states, ‘A prediction or an estimate
of something in the future, based on present data or trends’
(http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=projection). The relevant airport
leases should be known to council and remain in force for a specific time
period, which from my understanding began in 2004 for the 2 HARS leases.
It is a bigger concern if overal projections and estimates are not detailed
already for analysis regarding the airport business.
It is an additional concern that information I requested for last years
operational income and expenditure have not been released to me nor have I
been provided a reason for councils refusal for its release. Can this
information now be supplied?
I feel that council portrays the airport as a economic investment and acts as if it’s a
budget expenditure priority, without truly placing the numbers on an open table to
allow for public scrutiny. Why doesn’t council wish to be seen as transparent and
open with ratepayers money?
How is it in the ‘public interest’, as suggested by council, to deny access to
information that would have served to provide a detailed analysis regarding airport
costings in relation to councils budget? It just doesn’t make sense when the
information provided was insufficient.
The suggestion that this ‘public interest’ relates to concerns of placing one person in
a better position then his/her neighbour is equally unjustified. I was ready to upload
the information on the internet in order to disiminate the information further.
Council could have themselves attempted to equalise the position of ‘all’ though the
provision of such information on their own website.
Why won’t council provide details regarding the two HARS leases that I am aware
of? Shouldn’t this be public information? If this is not the case, why do some lease
amounts appear to be supplied to open council and others not if no favouratism
exists and council feel they have undertaken the right decisions? Why is there also a
problem providing the costs for the multiple subdivisions at the airport? It appears
that council have been prepared to continue to provide a new long term airport lease
policy without fully advising of all costs regarding its process.
I feel the tripple digit response that required signatories to mail a ‘parliamentary
petition against shellharbour councils financial management’ back to its origin
indicates that residents beside myself are concerned about councils contraversial
expenditures and councils budget.
If I have time the relevant questions were as follows:
What was the operational income and expenditure last year
regarding the airport?
Revenue for 2006/07
It is suggested that income estimates for the airport will be
$413,000 for the 2006/07 financial year. There is no
accountability regarding a breakdown of this regarding
leases, landing fees (general, annual, Qantaslink), ground
hire, aircraft parking, or secure parking to back this up.
Could council please supply this information.
It is known that there are several annual leases that amounts
to $67,501 (Aero v Australia = $22,500, Australian Air Force
Cadets = $1.00, Airag P/L = $15,000, Aerospace Traning
Services = $15,000, Total Aerspace Solutions = $15,000).
There is a need to detail the annual amount for the Clearly
Bros Air lease, the HARS lease for its own site, and the
HARS lease over the terminal building. Others leases may
exist. Could council please supply this information for me
for tonights rate rise meeting?
Expenditure for 2006/07
Although it is suggested that the operational expenditure of
the airport is estimated at $149,518 this will increase to
$244,518 for the 2006/07 financial year if it includes the new
item of an airport manager and his/her vehicle.
It is known that numerous subdivisions have occurred, what
is not known is the total cost involved. The latest
subdivision appeared to cost $1107 in administrative fees,
and just under $157,000 for remediation of a contaminated
site. No stamp duty was mentioned. Could council identify
the subdivisions, what year they were undertaken, along with
a breakdown of costs.