Alfred Cove wave park will bring financial benefits: Melville report

Like some of US President Donald Trump's speeches, many claims about the wave park beggar belief.
Like some of US President Donald Trump's speeches, many claims about the wave park beggar belief.

THE proposed Alfred Cove wave park will provide significant short and long-term financial benefits to the local community, according to an economic impact assessment (EIA) report released by the City of Melville last week.

The AEC Group report estimates 20 per cent of the project’s $28 million total construction cost will be directly returned to the local economy, with $5.2 million in incomes and salaries paid to City of Melville households.

The construction phase is predicted to create 51 full-time equivalent jobs and once complete, operation of the park as well as the business it generates for the surrounding area could mean an additional 122 full-time equivalent positions.

Melville chief executive Shayne Silcox said the City would also benefit from the $700,000 yearly ground lease and about $100,000 in additional rates, which combined translates to about 1 per cent of total rates at present.

“This project, should it go ahead, will provide an important financial opportunity for the City to keep rate increases as low as possible into the future, which is becoming increasingly difficult as we all face rising costs year to year,” Dr Silcox said.

“Job creation is an important aspect of a City’s strategic planning; local jobs means better local social outcomes and potentially less traffic, with residents having more options for working locally if they wish to do so. This project would be a huge win for our community even before the facility starts to operate.

Alfred Cove Action Group (ACAG) convenor David Maynier called the EIA “a hypothetical exercise resting on unlikely outcomes”. He said the report found the net present value of the initial lease term was $9.6 million, about the same cost of upgrades to facilities at Tompkins Park, including the relocation of the Melville Bowling Club.

“Ratepayers enjoy a net zero benefit from the wave park over the 30-year lifetime of the lease, so the Wave Park fails its stated primary policy objective of creating greater revenue from our current and potential land,” he said.

The City of Melville has consistently stated the proposed upgrades to Tompkins Park and wave park proposal are separate issues, and that the Tompkins Park redevelopment will proceed regardless of whether the State Government approves the wave park.