Reserve bank says “slow down”, Wodonga council spend like drunken sailors.


Wodonga council has announced today that stage one of the proposed Wodonga aquatic Leisure centre is set to cost $12.8 million and are seeking  to extend that out to a further $25 million for stage two.

The announcement comes despite repeated warnings from the reserve bank to curtail government spending or face raising interest rates still further and pushing inflation sky-high.

At a combined $37.8 million, that’s a lot of coconuts for a project of dubious merit.

Wodonga council spokesperson Mark Florence says “We’ve been continually consulting with stake holders, like the swim club, the water polo club, schools, older groups. The community has had the opportunity to say … (what) they thought was important”

As long as “what they thought was important” was getting the mother of all pool complexes built on re-vegetated nature reserve compulsorily acquired by Wodonga council as housing estate.

People who thought Wodonga might benefit from say, a cinema, a performance arts complex, a permanent art gallery or a revamp of the aging library building evidently need to learn to swim as this is now the third pool for Wodonga in recent years.

The White Elephant Box rise estate (which used to be native forest) is part of $7.2 million worth of building work which was approved in January alone.

“During the last calendar year, Wodonga recorded an increase in the number of new homes built, with 228 residences at a value of $53 million approved, up 22 per cent on the previous year,” Wodonga Council chief executive Peter Marshall said.

22% well that’s obviously sustainable, of course what happens after a boom? another, even bigger boom surely, what else? everyone knows that.

The reserve have announced their twelfth interest rate rise and at 7.25% interest rates are at a twelve year high.

The reserve bank says pushing interest rates higher and higher is an attempt to curb spending and avert further inflation hikes.

I’m sure nothing bad could come of Wodonga council driving up the statewide increase in expenditure by hurling money around like they just inherited a mint….could it?

I wonder how many of the 228 houses Wodonga council approved last year will be foreclosed before construction is even finished due to interest rates pushing mortgage repayments up and up?


About alburywodongaonline

Hi I'm Jack Stone (a pseudonym), I'm a long-time Albury resident and I think it's a great place to live and work. I have a strong interest in local events and media and I started this site because I think a different perspective is often needed when reporting local news. I take a keen interest in local politics, as well as what's going on at the state and federal level, I'm also a supporter of social justice issues, the envirionment and the need for people to have a say in the events that effect their lives. I'm a fan of the Border Bandits and I'd love to see both teams take the flag this year, and next year, and maybe the one after that too.
This entry was posted in Council, Editorial, Finance, Local Government, Wodonga. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Reserve bank says “slow down”, Wodonga council spend like drunken sailors.

  1. raydixon says:

    Building lavish aquatic centres is nothing but a ‘feel good’ project designed to woo the votes of families with young kids – probably the vast majority of Wodonga these days – in the lead up to this year’s council election.

    Some numbskulls in Bright tried to push for an $8 million indoor aquatic centre here some years ago. It cost the council $20,000 in consultant’s fees to be told the bloody obvious, ” … er, swimming centres are huge loss makers and cost a bomb in upkeep. Do this and it will send Alpine council broke.”

    Wodonga is much bigger than Bright but geezus, if you spend that much on a pool watch out for the massive and ongoing rate hikes. Talk about inflationary.

    PS: Some more numbskulls (among “SaveBright”) want to revisit the pool issue .. and they plan to run for council on it. They’ll probably get in.

  2. Well of course upkeep is certainly one issue, water usage is another, what to do with all the chemical laiden waste water from three olympic sized swimming pools is yet another, the list goes on and on.
    The crazy thing is that Wodonga already HAS an excellent pool in the current aquatic centre, there are many amenities that Wodonga could benefit from, however this project is an absolute white elephant in anyone’s language.
    There are a myriad of projects which would provide much better value at a fraction of the cost, the council’s inane “ooh look aren’t we clever” stance on this issue just drives me bonkers, do they really not see the folly? or do they just not care?

  3. raydixon says:

    They’re pandering to the lowest common denominator among the plebs – “we need something for the kiddies” sort of thing. They’re also building a monument to themselves. What will it be called, The Wangman Swimming Centre? I’d like see the Wanger in speedos, well on second thoughts … you probably wouldn’t see it.

  4. I’m not opposed to amenities for children Ray, far from it in fact, but I’m not entirely sure how three olympic sized swimming pools is going to benefit todlers.
    Of course Wodonga doesn’t have a museum of any description, Harvey’s fish and fun park (the only semblance of a public aquarium we have) is going through the hoop, so that’s closing down. A performing arts centre could easily accomodate children’s programmes (don’t the Wiggles tour from time to time? they’d have nowhere to perform in Wodonga that’s for sure)
    All these things are equally beneficial for children and they are things that Wodonga DOES’T already have.
    It’s myopic town planning in the extreme sense.

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