Devonport centres face – huge operating losses

Advocate, SEAN FORD p.5 – 19 June 2013

DEVONPORT’S revamped Bass Strait Maritime Centre is forecast to lose more than $500,000 in 2013-14.
The Devonport City Council budget estimates the centre will bring in $221,000 in income and cost nearly $731,000 in expenses.
The Devonport Entertainment and Convention Centre, the Devonport Aquatic Centre and the visitor information centre are also expected to be major cash drains.
An operating loss of million is forecast for the pool, with the entertainment centre budgeted to lose nearly $838,000 and the visitor centre $415,000.
The Julie Burgess vessel project will lose a comparatively modest $38,000 if the budget is correct, and Aboriginal cultural and tourism centre Tiagarra will cost ratepayers $29,000.
The East Devonport Recreation Centre is forecast to lose $228,000 and the Devonport Recreation Centre $413,000. The council will spend $98,000 on maintenance and support for the historic Home Hill property.
Mayor Steve Martin said the budget, built on a 1.6 per cent rates rise for most, catered for higher costs of existing services, plus new services.
”In essence, we have been able to sustain what we have, establish new services, as well as plan effectively for the future.” The budget includes $12 million for capital works.
Major items include:
$2.85 million for the completion of the new Devonport Indoor Aquatic Centre;
? million Mersey Vale Cemetery expansion million for the Living City project
$502,300 for energy efficiency initiatives; and, $431,000 for road safety improvements
The council will write to Infrastructure Minister David O’Byrne seeking confirmation state government funding would be available to upgrade the Stony Rise- Middle Rd junction.
”The intersection is council’s highest priority in regard to safety improvements,” Alderman Martin said.
”Whilst the intersection is still performing within acceptable design limits, the additional traffic generated from the new Homemaker Centre has brought forward the need for an upgrade.”