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Southbank Residents’ Association

06 Nov 2019

Southbank Residents’ Association Image

Secret council business 

I was shocked to discover that at a council meeting on October 29, the City of Melbourne was proposing to change its current system of considering contracts in an open session of council to that of a closed session.

In an extraordinary step, the council’s management cited litigation risks from divulging commercial-in-confidence pricing and information.

It sounds like an excuse to make council less accountable and such a change can potentially be fraught with danger. I personally cannot understand what the real issue is. If council make it clear, or even a condition of tender, that tender submissions will become public, then any tenderer would certainly know what they are getting themselves into. If there is too much reputational risk with their pricing being public knowledge, then I would suggest to them to not submit a tender.

I tried to obtain a copy of the tender documents for the Boyd Park development before any companies had submitted any responses, and before the tender had closed. However, I was told they were not available owing to being “commercial-in-confidence.” I was hoping to find out what exactly council had requested for the Boyd development, but it seemed I was not allowed to know. Well, not allowed to know until a successful tender was awarded.

Fortunately, Cr Rohan Leppert came to the rescue and questioned the merits of the October 29 proposal and requested the agenda item be adjourned while more information is sought on other ways in which it could be dealt with while maintaining transparency. I will await with bated breath as to the response from council management.

Boyd Park is coming along nicely. I was passing through there on the weekend and saw a lovely group of children playing on the play equipment with their parents/carers. It was really a delight to see. We have it on good word that the park will be fully functional for the community from about the second week of December. It will be at that time the rope fences should be removed from around the grass areas. Our committee is currently in discussions with council as to how we can give the park a great opening - something where the whole community can be involved. Watch this space next month for what has been negotiated. Trust me, it is really exciting.

Remember, Southbank Residents’ Association is a community not-for-profit volunteer driven organisation. Without members we don’t have a voice. If you are not already a member, we would certainly welcome your support through membership. It is only $10 per year. You can join via our website southbankresidents.org.au or our Facebook page /southbankresidents.

Until next month, enjoy the sunshine.

Tony Penna - President

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