Rosanna Library - Hostage of a Partnership?
May 7, 2021 —
Since when did vital infrastructure become a bargaining tool for council to push through with a predefined secret agenda? Banyule Council has come up with a plan to break through resident resistance in advertising their new partnership with Woolworths (Fabcot) to build the Rosanna Library alongside a larger Woolworths supermarket.
Council’s clear intention is to divide the community so that with only the combination of library and supermarket being offered, a fight against the supermarket will be a fight against the library! This Machiavellian tactic to avoid the backlash is BRILLIANT - Council can achieve their secret agenda or blame the residents if no library is achieved. This misconception may see some residents vent outrage at other residents for Banyule Council’s contrived dilemma - instead of placing the blame where it belongs – BANYULE COUNCIL.
However, should residents have to choose both or neither projects? Absolutely not, read on…
We will be exploring Banyule Council’s (and councillor’s) motivations and plans in a later update. However, in the meantime, some facts and actions for you.
1. Council cost estimate for a new stand alone library is $15m.
2. Over a 4 year period this would result in about 3% of the income derived from your rates (over $100m per year)
3. The difference in size for a proposed stand alone library (1303sqm) is minimal to the partnership model (1338sqm).
4. In 2017/2018 council allocated $240,000 for the design of the stand alone library.
5. In 2020 council produced plans for a stand alone library (Requested but not provided)
According to Banyule Council, there is no current plan to redevelop the library outside the scope of the Woolworths partnership. BUT, it was noted (fortuitously) that all that was needed to change the project was for councillors to vote to allocate funding for the stand alone Rosanna Library in the budget. Perfect timing for the information:
SUBMISSIONS TO THE BUDGET ARE OPEN! (Closing at 5pm on the 11th May). My submission to the budget below - you may like to copy mine or add your own.
You can also email your “Budget Submission” to council - firstname.lastname@example.org or dropping off to their Greensborough offices (make sure they receipt the submission!).
TICK THE BOX YES to the following question “Do you wish to speak to this submission at the Council Meeting on 26 May 2021?” This will hold your place and you can decide later whether to participate or not.
Budget Submissions 2021-2025
Please allocate $15m for a standalone Rosanna Library / community centre over the next 2 years. As Banyule’s projected operating surplus for 2022 is $13m, the allocation should be easily achievable. This is also around 3% of projected rates over the current 4 years being planned.
A stand alone model can achieve the library in a shorter time frame than is suggested with the Fabcot (Woolworths) partnership. It achieves the outcome of a new library without the need to sell 828sqm public land, remove vital trees and will maintain council’s integrity by removing the conflict of interest in council decision making.
With a brought forward plan for the library, the state directive for COVID recovery jobs and growth will be achieved in a relative shorter timeframe instead of 3-4 years.
With interest rates being low and forecasted to remain low, there is relatively small cost at financing any additional requirements to expand the plan for the library for more community based activities. Ivanhoe Library / Hub cost over $34m and Rosanna is a more central location to other parts of Banyule, with better proximity to public transport.
As Fabcot / Woolworths currently holds a planning permit for a supermarket on lots 2& 3 of 44 Turnham Ave Rosanna, this budget allocation for the library does not impact their rights to build, redevelop or seek further planning permissions in line with any other private developer.
Please include my submission verbatim and individually in the budget report. I reserve my right to be heard and represented at a scheduled public council meeting.
Join “RAWR! – Residents Against Woolworths Rosanna” Facebook group to stay updated.
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