11:48 AMYou call that waste?
Manningham council is going to remake King street between Victoria Street and Blackburn road. It will be remade with kerb and channel, nature strips, driveways and footpaths. (Please see the minutes of the council meeting for 30 August 2016.)
I think this is a good thing. I think that part of King Street probably needs to be brought up to modern standards. However, just how much will all this cost?
The distance of road to be remade is around 1.61 km (my own calculation). Manningham council estimates the total cost to be $2,260,281.72. The council also allows for a 10% contingency for cost overruns and also allows 10% of the total cost for project management fees for the design, administration and supervision of the work.
This means that around $2,713,338 has been budgeted for this job.
Converting this to dollars per kilometer of road we get $1,684,681 per kilometer.
Is this a reasonable amount to pay for 1.61km of this type of road?
Lets go elsewhere to see how much it costs to build similar roads.
Please see this document.
This document was prepared by the Property Council of Australia. It is dated June 2016 so it is recent and the costs are relevant.
This document basically complains that councils in South East Queensland have inconsistent standards for road construction that lead to massive differences in cost. It complains that the wildly differing costs are eventually being passed on to home buyers and effect the cost of homes.
Basically it compares the cost of building 3 different types of roads. It compares the cost of building local, neighborhood and inter suburban roads by the Brisbane City Council, Ipswitch Council and Moreton Bay Council. It summarizes the costs in this table.
The section of King street to be reconstructed is classified as a 'Link' road. So in this report it would be referred to as an 'Inter Suburban Road'.
Please see the pictures below of 'Inter Suburban' roads that were built by Morton Bay and Brisbane Councils. Note the large difference in cost and the minor differences in appearances. (These pictures are taken from the downloadable documents at the end of the link given above.)
There will be differences between what is shown in the pictures above and what we be done in King Street. For instance the nature strips in King Street will be wider. Also our nature strips will have trees planted in them. There is also many similarities. For instance, the traffic lanes for King Street will be 3.5 meter wide each way (page 3398 minutes 30 Aug 2016) while total Asphalt-Concrete road width in SE Qld between 9.5 to 11 meters.
The point the Property Council of Australia is making is why does it cost $1.4M per kilometer for Inter Suburban road in Brisbane while it costs Morton Bay council only $846,000 per kilometer for road which is functionally similar for residents and motorists.
It appears that the cost conscious people of South East Queensland want to know why there is such big difference in cost and what do they get for a road built in Brisbane that they do not get for a similar road built in Moreton Bay.
The Property Council of Australia suggests that this difference in cost is not only unnecessary but is also a wasteful use of council resources. It suggests that these wasteful differences could be reduced by sensible and consistent standards for road construction.
These are all good and sensible issues to consider.
However, those poor misguided S.E. Queenslanders! They really don't know that council waste is, do they?
To see even more irresponsible waste and unreasonably high costs they should come to Victoria, to Manningham to be precise.
Similar roads in Manningham cost even more!
And it is not just roads that cost more.
In Manningham, we see all kinds of unreasonable and excessive costs.
For example, I have mentioned in a few other articles on this site that Manningham Council budgets a quarter of a million dollars to build (and to refurbish) a public toilet!
Does that seem excessive to you? For $250,000 we get a wood or concrete box with electricity and plumbing. You or I could build a modern, two story house with that amount of money! I have gone into detail and given examples in other articles on this site for what ordinary people could build for $250,000.
However, Manningham council does not see the essential silliness of what they are doing.
And what do you think contractors and suppliers to Manningham Council think when they see these entirely irresponsible levels of waste by our Council?
Possibly they think that anyone who is silly enough to spend a quarter of a million dollars on a public toilet needs to have their heads flushed in that toilet - repeatedly.
Sometimes Manningham Council publish photographs taken after they negotiate a deal with a supplier. Usually senior council managers stand their with the required smiles on their faces while I am sure I see a sly grin on the faces of the suppliers. It would appear that the suppliers are laughing all the way to the bank. They usually have good reason to do so!
Time after time Manningham Council spends ridiculous amounts of money for things that should cost only a faction of what they spend.
So why am I concerned about this and why does any of this effect you and me?
The answer is very simple.
Concerning the reconstruction of King Street, Manningham Council is going to come after those they think 'will derive a benefit from the reconstructed road' and expect them to pay a fraction of the cost.
People who live along the section of King Street that is going to be remade, will pay in total $81,815.11 toward the cost of the new road.
If Manningham Council were as cost conscious as Moreton Bay Council, then residents would pay a around only $41,117. That is around half the cost of what residents in Manningham are going to pay for this road.
So you see, council waste, indifference and plain stupidity does effect Manningham residents directly.
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