Losses worry Cambridge

Last financial year, the Perry Lakes Redevelopment project reported a deficit of $14.9 million, an increase from the $10.6 million deficit the previous year.

Department of Planning acting director-general Duncan Ord said the project was intended to be cost-|neutral and the financial outcome would depend on real estate market movements and the ultimate value of the land sold.

‘The project has reported a deficit in the last two financial years as costs, including development costs to make the land ready for sale and the cost of the land sold (value of each lot sold), have exceeded the revenues from the sale of the land,’ he said.

Under the Perry Lakes Redevelopment Act 2005, Cambridge is entitled to $50 million and potentially more from the redevelopment profits on the completion of the project.

However, the Town cannot receive the payment until the Minister for Planning confirms the completion date, which requires the Minister to be satisfied the Government can deliver the funds owed.

Mr Withers said the Town’s aggressive capital works budget, including development of the Wembley Sports Park and the Leederville link bridge, was undertaken with the knowledge that some of the funding would be recouped by the $50 million promised to council.

He said amalgamations meant the money would now go into the new council entity and could be spent on projects outside of Cambridge.

‘A lot of accusations about the affect of amalgamations on council finances have been flying backwards and forwards between mayors and the government,’ he said.

‘This would be a good time for the government to state in clear terms that it will be honouring the commitment to pay the Town of Cambridge the $50 million due on completion of the Perry Lakes project.’

The Perry Lakes project is currently in the sale phase, with about 20 lots remaining to be sold, of which three are large apartment sites.

Mr Ord said sales were scheduled to be completed in about 2017-18 depending on market conditions for the sale of the large apartment sites.