Fremantle Council had been warned since the very inception of the Admin Centre project that it would end in financial disaster. Former Mayor Peter Tagliaferri warned [then] Mayor Brad Pettit in 2012 that Council “risks financial suicide” over the project. He was right!
Flaws in the 2012 Kings Square Business Plan were again brought to the attention of the City of Fremantle in late 2014 by local resident, Martin Lee. A series of letters were written to the city’s senior officers and individual Councillors, explaining that the stated investment returns could not be supported by the project assumptions, and that the sale of the City’s investment properties would erode not just the City’s asset base but also its long term cash flows.
Not one Councillor asked for an explanation, but simply deferred to the city’s senior officers. The City of Fremantle senior officers defended their assessment that this project delivered a commercial rate of return, despite it taking about 50 years to recover the initial investment costs from revenue generated by the project.
The following material was presented by Martin Lee to a joint meeting of The Fremantle Society, FICRA and FRRA on 20 April 2016, highlighting the financial disaster that would unfold if the Admin Centre project went ahead.
The lack of due diligence undertaken by decision makers in the financial debacle should not be without consequence.
The City of Fremantle is now under serious financial stress as a direct result of this project, and future generations will be required to sort out the mess made by our current generation of elected representatives.
Fremantle Council chose to ignore the warnings…
Council were repeatedly warned that the Admin Centre would end in financial disaster:
11 January 2013: https://heraldonlinejournal.com/2013/01/11/kings-square-plan-flawed/
14 June 2013: https://heraldonlinejournal.com/2013/06/14/kings-square-to-start/
26 July 2013: https://heraldonlinejournal.com/2013/07/26/years-delay-for-kings-square-facelift/
27 March 2015: https://heraldonlinejournal.com/2015/03/27/royal-pain/
30 March 2015: https://heraldonlinejournal.com/2015/03/30/king-concerns/
2 April 2015: https://heraldonlinejournal.com/2015/04/02/samson-rec-to-pay-for-new-hq-2/
8 May 2015: https://heraldonlinejournal.com/2015/05/08/simpson-brushes-aside-kings-square-concerns/
22 May 2015: https://heraldonlinejournal.com/2015/05/22/freos-2-35m-park-bench/
29 May 2015: https://heraldonlinejournal.com/2015/05/29/kings-square-deal-crazy/
19 June 2015: https://heraldonlinejournal.com/2015/06/19/kings-square-its-smokescreen-spin/
4 March 2016: https://heraldonlinejournal.com/2016/03/04/scrap-kings-square-deal/
22 April 2016: https://heraldonlinejournal.com/2016/04/22/groups-demand-square-rethink/
29 April 2016: https://heraldonlinejournal.com/2016/04/29/kings-square-deal-freo-inc/
28 October 2016: https://heraldonlinejournal.com/2016/10/28/square-extension/
11 November 2016: https://heraldonlinejournal.com/2016/11/11/parking-mad/
24 March 2017: https://heraldonlinejournal.com/2017/03/24/square-rejig-adopted/
1 February 2019: https://heraldonlinejournal.com/2019/02/01/space-for-all/
16 October 2020: https://heraldonlinejournal.com/2020/10/16/rent-free-decade-sought-for-square-tavern/
...and just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse: