Elusive $8.5 million

Council has kept up the story of urgent enabling works being needed at Hanging Rock to encourage someone to put forward a development proposal.

On ABC radio AM program on March 5, the council's manager of economic development said that $8.5 million of works are required ... including works to user facilities ... tennis club, cricket club, racecourse, public toilets, barbecues".

In The Australian on March 8, the mayor also quoted the elusive $8 million. He said it is required to repair and improve Hanging Rock's natural environment and current buildings.

We have no idea about the detail of any of the above items as council is yet to provide a detailed list of items adding to $8.5 million, despite numerous requests over the past four months and previous promises to provide the information.

Council has provided another list totalling more than $11 million but there is no mention of pest animals and plants and no mention of works for user facilities.

Some of the main works on this list are:

- Water reticulation within the reserve 474,000

- Recycled water - Western Water 2,700,000

- Five Mile Creek cycle trail from Woodend 1,450,000

- Lookouts and pathways on the Rock 300,000

- Car parking upgrades 540,000

- Reserve wide sewerage upgrade 850,000

The list of $8.5 million for up front funding of enabling works has been bandied about in council emails, documents and at meetings but never has a detailed list been forthcoming. The list of $11 million seems more like a wish list of anything and everything and most certainly has not been put in the public arena by council.

Why is council so willing to keep quoting the $8.5 million list to the press but unwilling to provide the detail or discuss what is really needed at Hanging Rock as distinct from what might be nice to have?