ITEM 9.7 – MRC


Delhunty moved an alternate motion that included: that the MRC has entered into a lease with the Alliance group involved with the level crossing removal project where “commuters’ will be allowed to ‘park for free’. This is a ‘sub lease arrangement’ and is ‘valued at approximately $90,000 -$100,000’ for 2 months. Motion also said that council write to the Trust to ensure that ‘they are aware’ of the arrangement. Also copies go to Minister for Environment & Climate Change, Lisa Neville, Auditor-General and members of parliament. Seconded by Magee.

DELAHUNTY: said that the report was first off about access arrangements for the public and what has been happening. Not a lot has been happening but there are ‘other current arrangments’ including a ‘commercial’ deal that has ‘been struck between the Alliance’ and the MRC ‘that values the Guineas car park, conservatively’ for $90,000 for 60 days. That’s just over $1,400 per day. In the ‘stalled’ lease negotiations between the Trust and the MRC ‘their offer and their apparent independent valuation’ is ‘offering the community 30 cents a day’. From this disparity, we ‘can see how absolutely outrageous’ the MRC’s offer on the lease is. ‘It shows what contempt they hold the community in’. ‘We won’t put up with it’ when the MRC itself values the land far more highly. Thus in the private arrangement the MRC ‘are making now what would cover’ their current lease. Even the 95,000 for the lease is a ‘poor outcome’ for the community when there is a valuation which says they should be paying closer to a million dollars for the lease of the land. Said that the starting point for any negotiations should be ‘what they have valued’ the car park land as. She is ‘hopeful’ that in passing this information on to ‘ those negotiating’ the lease that there will be ‘a better outcome for the community’.

MAGEE: started off by saying that the MRC ‘doesn’t seem able to put their hands on the agreement’ of 2011 and he suggests that ‘they look in the same filing cabinet’ where they can’t find the documents for the leases for the ‘northern stables’ and Aquinita Lodge. Ratepayers and taxpayers of Victoria are ‘paying in excess of a billion dollars’ for the grade separation but the MRC is ‘making a profit out of it’. They think that ‘you need us’ so we are ‘happy to sub-let Crown Land which you own’ and make you pay for the land that you own’. When the price they are paying for t’that small car park’ is ‘extrapolated’ across the 50 hectares of land then the ‘one million dollars is insignificant’ because it becomes more like ’40 or 50 million dollars’. Said that the MRC ‘are not what they portray’ themselves to be – they aren’t community minded nor a ‘friend of Glen Eira’. They have the ‘absolute need to profiteer’ and to ‘charge’ the taxpayers of Victoria to ‘park on their land’. ‘This is not only appalling. This is sickening’. Said that the ‘minister should be aware of this. The minister should be commenting on this’. If the MRC are ‘allowed to sublet’ the Guineas car park, then they can ‘sublet any part’ of the racecourse. Question is ‘what are they allowed to do’. Said there is ‘no lease in place’ and that it is an ‘ongoing, day by day’ process. Plus ‘anyone who sits back and accepts this’ is equally in contempt with the MRC.

OKOTEL: endorsed the motion and ‘queried how genuine’ the MRC are about ‘talking with council’. From the ‘invitation’ in the letter printed in the agenda, council has ‘sought’ a meeting with the MRC but it is ‘disappointing that they don’t seem to be able to make the time’. Said that there is no time set aside ‘as yet’. Thus, whilst the tone of the letter suggests they are ‘willing to have an open discussion’ that’s not happening but it’s important for council to ‘continue to advocate strongly’. ‘Despite’ the letters they get ‘very little progress is being made’.

HYAMS: asked for an amendment that when ‘further information’ is received that a report be tabled. This amendment was accepted by the mover of the motion and seconder.

DELAHUNTY: what needs to be finalised is the lease but negotiations ‘have broken down’ because there is ‘an incredible discrepancy between valuations’. The MRC has for the last 20 years paid about $90,000pa. They think it’s valued at $100 per year and the ‘council obviously thinks much higher’. The lease to the alliance shows that the MRC doesn’t value the land at $100 per year but much more and they are ‘trying to take the trust and the community for fools and we won’t stand for it here’. Their subletting will ‘help move the lease’ negotiations forward because it shows their own valuation of the land.