C4EM are pleased to report that Campaspe Shire Council has noted a report detailing future management options for Echuca’s Port Precinct, coordinated by the Port Precinct Working Group (PPWG).
C4EM CEO Nina O’Brien has been an active member of the PPWG over recent months and has administered the consultancy project on behalf of the Echuca Moama Alliance of organisations as agreed by Campaspe Council at the start of the project.
Mayor, Cr Adrian Weston said the six-person working group, made up of three representatives from Council and the Echuca Moama Alliance, were tasked with engaging and working with a consultant to complete the review and recommend a preferred management model back to Council. The scope of the review was outlined to the working group with a focus to objectively weigh up the costs, benefits and risks, including reference to past reviews and reports, of all future management options and make a recommendation back to Council.
“The review analysed three alternative operating models,” Cr Weston said.
“The group’s preferred model, a not for profit option, provides for Council to continue ownership and management of the assets, with operation outsourced to an independent not for profit organisation.”
“In noting the group’s preferred model, it was also noted that Council would still be required to provide considerable ongoing financial subsidies to the operations.”
Chairperson of the Echuca Moama Alliance and a member of the Port Precinct Working Group Michael Delahunty commended Council for the collaborative approach they have taken with the Alliance in investigating future management options for the Port. The Alliance is supportive of the motion adopted by Council and looks forward to the preferred management model being considered by Council at their July meeting.
In reviewing the report Council further noted the working group did not include an ‘arm’s length’ Council management model, nor were they required to do so. Given the ongoing requirement for significant community (Council) subsidy each year, with little prospect of an operational profit given the nature of the assets and their operations, it is considered a similar reducing subsidy model could be achieved.
“We have now directed our Chief Executive Officer to develop an additional management model for Council’s consideration that closely approximates an ‘arm’s length from Council’ approach, for example, a division with full delegations to operate independently of the Council but accountable to the CEO,” the Mayor added.
“We have also asked the CEO to have two Business Cases developed. One for the working group’s preferred model and one for the requested additional model for consideration at Council’s July meeting.”
“We thank the working group for their work on Council’s behalf and now look forward to progressing a preferred management model.”
C4EM and the Alliance will actively work to ensure that the next stage of the project keeps moving ahead in an objective and informed fashion.
Media Enquiries: Nina O’Brien Ph: 0409 804 415
Keen to read the full detail?
You can download and read the: Port of Echuca Precinct Review ~ Final Report
For noting is the detail of the Council Resolution:
1. Thank members of the Port Precinct Working Group and the Consultants for their work on Council’s behalf.
2. Receive and note the report and the recommendations contained therein.
3. Notes that the Not for Profit option, while preferred by the Group, would still require considerable and ongoing financial subsidies to be provided by the community (Council).
4. Reserve its position with respect to a preferred management model until a further report is prepared and presented to it by the Chief Executive Officer.
5. Directs the Chief Executive Officer to develop an additional management model for Council’s consideration that closely approximates an ‘arm’s length from council’ approach (e.g. a Division with full delegations to operate independently of the Council but accountable to the CEO).
6. The model developed (under 5 above) to canvass management of all of the Council’s functions, assets, activities and responsibilities within the Precinct (e.g. leases, financial management, commercial activities inc. boats, tourism and activation).
7. Directs the Chief Executive Officer to have Business Cases developed for the Precinct under the Working Group’s preferred model and the model being prepared by the CEO (recommendations 5 and 6 above).
8. Recognises the impacts of the current pandemic on the community, particularly tourism in the context of the report presented, and requires the alternate Model and Business Cases be returned for Council’s consideration at its July meeting.