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Extract from the (Draft) Minutes of the Meeting on 12 August of North Harbour

5.5 GM's Response to Questions Asked by Precinct Residents:
Details of the questions precinct residents are set out in the August Newsletter. As
the issue of the construction of a car park under the oval (to be followed by
demolition of the Whistler Street Car Park) was so prominent among the questions, it
was agreed that the GM would focus on the Oval Car Park. If this did not allow time
for the remaining questions, these would be forwarded to his office for later
Oval Car Park: The following is a summary of major issues of relevance in the
GM's address:
Henry sees that his role and mandate on the Manly2015 Masterplan to is
implement the decision taken by Council at its meeting on June 3 2013 when
the Manly Community Strategic Plan Beyond 2023 was adopted. Henry's
interpretation of this decision is that he was tasked to develop the Gateway
Plaza and that for this to happen, the Whistler Street Car Park had to be
demolished and replaced with a Car Park under the Oval (jointly known as the
Car Park Proposal) AND to prepare a submission for the Office of Local
Government (the CapEx Review) so that the Car Park Proposal can proceed to
a DA for the JRPP.
The current opposition of large sections of the community to the Car Park
Proposal is of no relevance to Henry in fulfilling his mandate. He stated that if
the residents are unhappy with the Car Park Proposal they need go raise this
with the Councillors as he is simply working to instructions from a decision of
theirs in June 2013. In Henry's view, the Gateway Plaza cannot be built
without the Car Park Proposal.
Henry accepts the conclusions of the report of KPMG that the Oval Car Park
will cost only $35 million, will generate a profit and pay off its debt
($35million less the proceeds from the sale of the Whistler Street Car Park
assumed to be $16 million).
In Henry's view, the Councillors and the public should accept the conclusions
of the KPMG Report as well as the assumptions on capital costs and revenues
in this report and the supporting views in all of the consultant reports that are
posted on the Manly2015 website.
In relation to the request by the executive of the precinct for economic and
financial information on the Oval Car Park (see attached documents), Henry
has no intention of providing any of the information requested. The precinct
has access to the reports on the Manly2015 website and the assurances from
him and the mayor that there are no financial risks for the residents from the
Council's implementation of the Car Park Proposal.
Henry cited the recent decision of Manly Chamber of Commerce to support the

Car Park Proposal and he assumes that they undertook their own due diligence
of the proposal using information obtained from the Manly2015 website.
In response to the stated position of the GM on the Car Park Proposal, a
number of residents had questions these are summarised below together with
Henry's response:
Questions from residents at the meeting in response to the GM's address:
1. The residents feel impotent in the sense that they are not being given enough
detailed information on the assumptions used in economic and financial
analysis to form their own view on the risks for them as ratepayers of the
Council's implementation of the Car Park Proposal. The request for
information contained in the request by the precinct executive (see attached
documents relating to the Fact Sheet) was fair and reasonable for anyone
wishing to undertake proper due diligence on the Car Park Proposal. It is
entirely reasonable for the residents to undertake their own due diligence and it
was arrogant of the Council to assume that they should simply rely on the
limited information in reports of the consultants that contain qualifications of
the assumptions and conclusions. These reports do not give the residents
confidence in their conclusions. In addition, the letter from the Office of Local
Government (a copy of which had been given to the residents at the meeting)
did not (in the view of the residents) provide any endorsement of the Car Park
Proposal and it pointed out that there were significant risks and uncertainties.
Before the GM responded to this question, the chairman asked how many of
the residents at the meeting agreed that the question reflected their views.
There was unanimous confirmation that the question reflected their concerns.
Response: Henry acknowledged the question and the concerns of the
residents, but confirmed that it was not his role or responsibility to address
these. He had already stated is position on the provision of additional
information on the Car Park Proposal. He repeated his statement that concerns
about the risks of the Car Park Proposal need to be addressed to the
Councillors and not to the GM or his staff.
2. It is understood that the capital costs for the Oval Car Park were not developed
from a detailed design of the Car Park, but rather based on the advise of
estimators using ratios for completed car parks. This is both unusual and risky
if the decision to proceed with the DA is given by the Councillors on such a
basis, taking into account the risks and uncertainties associated with the terrain,
the high water table, the need for a design and construct contract (accepted in
the industry as being difficult and high cost) and Council's policy of
negotiating a fixed price contract.
Response: Henry acknowledged the concerns, but he had confidence in the

capital cost estimate provide by WT Partnership and the opinion provided by

CARDNO in their report on the hydrology of the area. There is a provision in
the timeline for the project for a gateway to ensure that the fixed price
contract is within pre-agreed limits.
3. In light of the current case before the courts where AMP Capital Investors (as
the manager of two funds that had invested in the Lane Cove Tunnel Project) is
suing Parsons Brinckerhoff and Booz Allen Hamilton (independent advisers
and consultants on forecasting future traffic flows through the tunnel), are the
Council and the Councillors not concerned at the parking revenue forecasts
used in the financial model for the Oval Car Park?
Response: Henry is comfortable and confident that the revenue forecasts are
conservative and realistic. He had no comment about the views of the
4. It seems unrealistic to assume that the Council can replace an operating Car
Park (Whistler Street) that generates almost $1 million per year (after
operating) costs with a new Car Park that is burdened with $24 million debt (@
5% interest rate) and claim that this makes financial sense. It will be several
years before the Oval Car Park will be cash positive, even if the optimistic
assumptions on future revenue and the capital costs are achieved. So, the
Council will be out of pocket by more than $1 million per year in the early
years in fact it will be more than ten years before the new car park will
produce a cash flow that is equivalent to that of the Whistler Street Car Park.
Response: The GM repeated that he is comfortable and confident that the
Oval Car Park can be build for $35 million, that the revenue forecasts are
conservative and realistic and that the Car Park will be generating a profit for
the Council.
5. When looking at which parties will benefit from the location of the Oval Car
Park, it is reasonable to assume that the major beneficiaries of the additional
car parking space will be the companies associated with the clubs that are close
to the oval. Is there not a risk that vested interests and the major beneficiaries
will seek to pressure the Council to support the Car Park Proposal?
Response: If there is any concern by any of the residents about suspected or
known undue influence being placed on Council staff or the Councillors, they
should address their concerns to ICAC or the Ombudsman.
6. While many residents support the objectives of the Manly2015 Vision (but are
deeply concerned about the financial risks of the Oval Car Park), they believe
that a decision on the Car Park Proposal could be delayed until after the
Upgrade of the Laneways has been completed. Why is this not possible ?

Response: Basically no, because this option is not in the remit/mandate of the
GM from the June 3 2013 decision of the Council. Any request for the Council
to evaluate or pursue this options would have to be made directly to the
The chairman thanked the GM for his time in visiting the precinct. He asked the GM
to please pass on to the mayor and the Councillors that the residents attending the
precinct meeting remain opposed to the Car Park Proposal, primarily because of the
perception of the financial risks to the ratepayers caused by the lack of full
information on, or confidence in the assumptions used in economic and financial
model of the Oval Car Park. The chair emphasised that the views of the residents
attending the precinct meeting are broadly reflective of the position of the majority of
the residents in the precinct.
The following is a summary of what was discussed and agreed among the
residents after the GM left the meeting:
The GM and his staff have no intention of providing the residents with any
more information on the assumptions used in the economic and financial
models than that which is on the Manly2015 website. This is unreasonable an
and unacceptable to the residents whose rates pay for the wages of Council
staff, the services for the residents and the repayment of any debt incurred by
decisions of the Council.
The lack of acknowledgement by the GM of the reasonable request for
information made by the precinct executive that is necessary for the
residents/ratepayers to undertake proper due diligence of the financial risks
reflects the negative attitude of the Council to the legitimate concerns of the
It must be assumed that the Councillors are basing their decision on whether to
allow the GM to proceed with the DA for the JRPP on the same information
and reports that the residents are expected to rely upon. If this is the case, it
represents a neglect of their duty and they leave themselves open to legal
action by the residents if in the future it emerges that the assumptions used in
the financial models on which the Councillors made a decision are wrong,
were unrealistic.
Arising out of the above discussion, the following motion was discussed and
put to the residents:
Arising out of Agenda Item # 6: Proposed Car Park under the Oval
Review of Fact Sheet on the Economics and Finances
Proposed Motion: The precinct notes the lack of any (meaningful) response
to the reasonable request for information on the economics and finances of the

Car Park Proposal requested by the executive. The predict precinct wishes to
censure the GM for not even acknowledging that the request had been made
and for not providing the requested information. The executive of the precinct
is requested to:
lodge a complaint with the Ombudsman
to seek the information from the Council via the Freedom of
Information provisions in legislation available to resident
with the help of residents with experience in contracting and in finance,
to develop its own independent view of the finances of the Oval Car
Park Proposal
to communicate these views to the precinct residents.
The motion was proposed by Terry le Roux and seconded by Ian Sharp. There
was unanimous acceptance of the motion
There was a strong view among the residents that the letter from the Office of
Local Government to the Council in response to its CapEx Review Lodgement
was far from any form of endorsement of the Car Park Proposal Project. The
residents feel that it is premature to even consider going to a DA before there is
majority acceptance of the Car Park Proposal by the residents. It was noted by
a number of residents that there has never been any acknowledgement by the
Council in their Manly2015 website of the concerns of the residents. Arising
out of this, the following motion was discussed and put to the residents:
Agenda Item # 6: GM's Recommendation at the Extraordinary Meeting on 4
August that the Councillors Note that Car Park Proposal may Proceed to the DA
for the JRPP.
Proposed Motion: The precinct wishes to express its disappointment at the
Recommendation of the GM in his Report to the Extraordinary Meeting of Council on
4 August 2014 that the Council note that the Manly Car Park Project may now
proceed to DA for the JRPP following receipt of a letter from the Office of Local
Government (OLG). This disappointment arises out of: the very obvious lack of
support for the project from the OLG, the OLG's expressions of concern about the
uncertainties and financial risks of the project and the fact that the GM is ignoring
the concerns of the residents of Manly as expressed by the nine functioning precincts.
The motion was proposed by Doug Browne and seconded by Terry le Roux. There
was unanimous acceptance of the motion
In relation to the lack of Council acknowledgement of resident concerns, the

chair read out the text of a letter he had sent to the Mainly Daily on 7 August
it was not not published: The latest update of Manly Council on the
Manly2015 Plan (Bulletin #11) reports on the feedback the Council received

from the 300 visitors to the Meet the Architects Information Marquee in Short
Street. The Council highlights the 180 visitors who were positive. In all the
Update Bulletins issues on the Manly2015 Plan, the Council has never
acknowledged that not one of the 9 functioning precincts in Manly
(representing more than 30,000 residents) has endorsed or supported the
proposal in the Manly2015 Plan to build a Car Park under the Oval.