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Letter: Ratepayers, environment lose as EDE contractor goes into administration

EDE-roadworks-residential-aug2019

dear-editor-icon-nov2018REMINISCENT OF THE ALBATROSS in Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s (1798) The Rime of the ancient Mariner, the burden of the EDE’s contract implosion will be difficult to shake.

This failure will push posterity’s ratepayers’ burden well beyond the $86m, now projected, considerably beyond $50m originally “sold”. Adding to embarrassment is the fact, now obvious to all, that rather than providing a bypass ring-road this assault on the environment was solely to facilitate development of Jumping Creek Estate.

SEEN ABOVE:  Abandoned roadworks alongside residential housing.

That the area houses endangered species, is a koala transit corridor and subject to significant bushfire risk, obviously counts for nothing. City fathers may adopt their usual mantra of alternative habitat off-sets — in Gippsland!

Newly-minted Minister for Regional Development, Deputy Premier, Barilaro, will be unable to escape opprobrium flowing from this decision as he was very vocal in his support of this “project”, in his own bailiwick, and proudly boasted of securing $25m of the requisite financing.

Ratepayers were initially promised a grand vision of a linking highway, but as its cost mysteriously escalated, its dimensions correspondingly diminished. Now Council has to account for how “mismanagement” resulted in contractors going into administration and how due process failed.

That radio silence was maintained from 13 May to now, on a publicly-funded project, underlines how QPRC operates with minimal transparency. Rather than boosting the local economy by giving work to local tradespeople it seems this outsourced project will merely enrich distant bankruptcy lawyers!

— Albert M White
Queanbeyan, NSW

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