With a report to Council’s July meeting failing to attract any discussion, the Friends of the Minnamurra River are calling on Council to formally abandon the project.
“Council should now simply commit to terminating all prospects of the Minnamurra boardwalk proceeding,” says the group’s chair, Will Chyra.
“It is a public administration and financial nightmare.
“The project has never even been authorised by Council, but hundreds of thousands of taxpayers’ money have been wasted.
“It has exceeded its own budget for work so far by 132 per cent and the cost estimate for the project has more than doubled.”
The report shows the design consultant, Cardno, has completed all the detailed design and documentation, and been paid $671,000. Less than $300,000 was budgeted for this aspect of the work when the $4.5 million in State Government funding for the project was recieved.
The construction costs of the design, which goes over the water in parts, is now estimated at $9.5 million.
An application for more funding and a time extension has been lodged with the State Government, without response so far.
The report says other grant opportunities are being investigated.
Undeterred, the project’s champion, Councillor Mark Way, has asked for a confidential report canvassing the opportunity for low interest loans, other opportunities for grants, details of the current grant funding and more.
Mr Chyra is disappointed the next time the matter is discussed it will be in private.
“What is there to hide?”