Oakleigh Recreation Centre and Waverley Gymnastics Club

Questions and responses

I have a number of questions about the extra $3.3 million funding council will provide for the development funding shortfall.

Why does council need to foot the bill entirely for the extra $3.3 million? Were any approaches made to state or federal governments for more funding?

The Federal Government is providing $2.1 million towards the gymnastics facility component of the centre with the State Government contributing $3 million through Sports Recreation Victoria.

We did very well to receive this level of funding from both the State and Federal governments and would be very unlikely to receive further funds.

Has council essentially been forced into providing the extra money due to previous commitments?

No, Council is providing the extra funding because this is an important and significant project for Monash.

The project exceeded its original budget due to a number of factors including the complexity of the site.

What we’ve had to do as part of the new design was a complete reorientation of the building which has been a huge piece of work.

We also had a very short timeframe in which to apply for the State Government’s Better Indoor Stadium funding which did not give us much time to fully scope the project.

As the project developed and we got into the detail, and more fully grasped the design issues, additional costs were incurred.

We’ve also decided to fully replace the stadium roof which has added to the cost rather than have to come back in a few years to do it.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create something that will meet the needs of the community into the future.

We want to get this right now rather than have to come back and undertake work again as demand increases.

We’re pleased to be progressing with this project to secure an outstanding facility for Oakleigh Recreation Centre users, the community and the Waverley Gymnastics Club.

This is a great outcome for all residents and for our young predominantly female gymnasts.

What were the ramifications if council did not fund the extra $3.3 million?

We were determined to see this fantastic project continue and would have found a way to make it happen.

Does the threat of further delays costing an estimated $750k-1.2m annually impact council's decision?

No, we don’t expect further delays.

Has council bungled the planning for this?

No.

As mentioned earlier, this is a complex site with its own unique challenges.

We’ve worked through those challenges with the ORC users and the Waverley Gymnastics Club for a fantastic outcome.

The site is bounded by a well-used pedestrian pathway, some well-established and loved trees and an outdoor swimming pool that could not be overshadowed by a building.

We had to fit five basketball courts, a gymnastics facility, car parking and other features into a defined space and it’s taken some time to get the design right.

It’s been a challenge on this site but the outcome is going to be an outstanding project the community can be proud of.

How will the extra expense affect ratepayers?

Council will be making up the shortfall through the sale of Council land or from our reserves if necessary.

I hope ratepayers will be proud of this facility and of providing greater access to excellent sporting facilities for children and teenagers in Monash.

What will council do if it is unable to sell the land at 14-16 Atkinson St, Chadstone, or not raise the required amount? How else will it raise the money?

See above.

Issued: Thursday 29 March 2018

To: Monash Leader

Quoting: Mayor Paul Klisaris.