Several residents have contacted us with queries about Council’s renting of 840 Dandenong Road, Caulfield East. This was ‘vacated’ by Stellar in mid 2019. Real Estate websites state that the rental space was approximately 1200 square metres and that Stellar were paying rental of between $320 and $340 per square metre.

A check of council minutes reveals that in July 2019, as part of the in camera section of the council meeting, this item came up for deliberation. No result/outcome was listed in the ensuing minutes. Hence, we have to ask:

  • Why is council renting this property?
  • What is the rental being paid?
  • How long is the lease?
  • Did council spend extra on outfitting this property? If so, how much?

If any concerned resident were to peruse the monthly financial reports it is impossible to discern where this money is coming from, nor how much.  In terms of ‘income’ versus ‘expenditure’ we find that there is a category labelled ‘other expenses’. The budget claimed that this figure would be $3.5 million. The actuals now state that this figure has blown out to $5.168 million. Thus how much of this blowout is the result of the new lease? We can only guess at the amount that council is paying but given the above figures it would not surprise us if this lease was in the vicinity of $400,000 at least per annum, and possibly much higher!

It is also worth stating that the word ‘lease’ does not appear anywhere in the financial report. Thus, we are left in the dark (again) as to how this council is spending ratepayers’ money and the purpose for such expenditure.

Here’s a screen dump of the site: