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Second audit for Neil Walker

Saturday 14 October 9am-3pm

Balnarring Primary School

RATEPAYERS could pay another $25,000 for a second audit of the revamp of Wells St last year that went at least $1.7 million over its original budget. A 5-3 majority of councillors at the 25 September public council meeting backed a notice of motion by Cr Colin Hampton for council to allocate up to $25,000 for “a full forensic audit” of the Wells St redevelopment originally budgeted at $3.5 million. Cr Hampton described an audit of five major construction projects in Frankston, ordered in June last year by councillors during the previous four-year council term, as “scathing” at the September council meeting. That internal council audit, at a cost of $29,000 to ratepayers, was carried out by Pitcher Partners and analysed the upgrade to Wells St, the construction of a new war memorial at Beauty Park, the refurbishment of the Frankston Yacht Club, the building of the Frankston Football Club Function Centre and a clubhouse extension for the Frankston Bombers at Baxter Reserve. The Pitcher Partners audit also analysed council’s management of capital works projects. The Wells St project was mired in controversy after The Times first reported 11 bench seats cost $13,830 each, four circular seats cost $12,820 each and 18 planters were $8670 each (“Street spending under scrutiny”, The Times 14/6/16). It later emerged that 17 street lights cost $19,000 each taking the total spending on furniture and lights to just over $833,000. “We have just recently received a scathing report on several of council’s projects — this is one of them,” Cr Hampton said. “We are here to manage the affairs and the budgets of this council. Now, when we get a re-

port from Pitcher Partners which have showed in many projects we have gone over budget there are two things we can do. We can sit on our hands and let it keep happening or find some answers as to why it’s been happening and fix it. “Once we’ve got the report back on this, I believe that we could put the recommendations from this into a report on the yacht club, on the war memorial and the football club [function centre].” Cr Hampton was one of five councillors —

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Frankston Times 9 October 2017

9 October 2017  

Frankston Times 9 October 2017