A silent old shed speaks volumes about WCC waste

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Carol Altmann – The Terrier

It isn’t pretty, but this old shed speaks volumes about the waste that has gone on within the Warrnambool City Council (#notallWCCstaff) over the past decade.

Long-time followers of this site may remember that this shed cost the council more than $100,000 in 2015: $40,000 to buy it and $63,000 to pull it down and relocate it from Wangoom Rd to west Warrnambool.

It is my understanding that it has since been sold off by the WCC for $2000.


It has basically been reduced to scrap metal, at a loss of $101,000 to ratepayers.

That is $101,000 that could have been used far more productively elsewhere.

The back story to this shed is that it was supposed to become part of the WCC depot, but the cost of reassembling it, and its poor, rusty condition, saw that idea tossed out the rollerdoor before it had even rolled.

The condition of some of the panels removed from the former Wangoom Rd shed bought by the WCC in 2015.

The WCC tried to cut its losses early by auctioning off the shed before it was moved from Wangoom Rd, but it was passed in at $20,000 after failing to attract a single bid: nobody wanted to pay good money for a rusty old shed that would cost a mozza to move and re-assemble.

We – the poor old ratepayers – were stuck with it and have since taken a $101,000 hit.

How does this sort of waste happen? (#notallWCCstaff)

This is the question underpinning the push for a forensic look at all council spending from the last 10 years and the decision making and policies around this spending, because it is this decade of waste that is now coming home to roost.

It goes beyond the council’s 81 corporate credit cards, even though credit card spending is a full-colour, big-calorie category that leaps off the page.

It extends to rusty sheds, and roundabouts, and toilet blocks, and Flagstaff Hill upgrades, and $3 million blowouts on Liebig St, and trips to China, council marquees at the racecourse, endless conferences, blowouts on the Simpson St tunnel, the exorbitant contract to run the pound….you get the picture.

Ratepayers expect to pay rates.

But what ratepayers also expect is a clear return on their investment.

We want to see the council spend our money wisely and cautiously: every cent of it.

It doesn’t matter if the dollars are coming from ratepayers or taxpayers – it is all public money and this is why Ratepayers Victoria is taking such a close interest in what is happening in Warrnambool right now.

Ratepayers Victoria has written again to the council this week, in light of Mayor Tony Herbert saying he didn’t believe there was a need for an independent audit into the council, even though all the other councillors now agree that there should be one.

RV is joining the call for a full review of council spending, going back 10 years:

“We would respectfully suggest that unless council conduct a 10-year retrospective audit of all council staff and councillor expenditure and publish it fully and frankly then you will not sufficiently address the groundswell of community anger,” the letter says. (Read the letter in full here).

RV is spot on there.


At the end of the day, all ratepayers are asking for is transparency and accountability: two little words that roll off so many councillors’ tongues and turn up in so many council reports.

Transparency, accountability…and showing us value for money.

It’s not much to ask for, and the community is asking for it now.

If you would like to support the work of The Terrier, please consider throwing something in the tip jar.

Terrier Tip Jar

6 thoughts on “A silent old shed speaks volumes about WCC waste”

  1. This smells very dodgy Terrier
    I’m going out on a limb and guessing that someone within the WCC has had insider influence and has helped make a friend or family member a very very sweet $100K for doing bugger all!
    We need to know who owned the shed and who the hell made the decision that it was a viable option.

    Accountability seems to have gone on long service leave.

    1. The property belonged to Daryl Porter it was his cabinet making business shed,the family home and land was sold off to developers with the home being demolished to make way for new development. I believe Daryl and his wife may have then purchased the Whalers Hotel

  2. And in the midst of all these obvious rorts and wastages being exposed, it is now becoming obvious that the arguments about whether the 4.5% rate increase was justified or not now seems to have been something of a smokescreen to hide the fact that the revaluation of properties was the main thing that drove the rates up. Our rates didn’t go up by 4.5%. They went up by over 13.5% from the year before and from what I am hearing from others, we go off light.

  3. What concerns me most on this and so many of the other issues you have brought to light is the utter lack of transparency and accountability. If you don’t have the first, you can’t have the latter and without them we will just continue to see a progression of poor (or dishonest) decisions, ameliorated or covered up at ratepayers expense. Worse, this vicious cycle only serves to encourage more ill thought out decisions by officers wishing, or trying, to appear decisive and on top of their brief instead of spending the time and effort it takes to think through or examine potential unwanted outcomes.

    1. This is exactly it, Jim. If we had a council culture based on true transparency and accountability, so much of what is now being exposed would never have happened. This is what needs to change – not just a token gesture of investigating the circumstances around the use of one credit card, by one person. The whole culture needs to be tackled.

  4. As of 2 September, to “trips to China” you can now add “trips to Sweden”. Our council has approved further questionable overseas travel in an unanimous vote despite great community anger.
    From The Standard of 3 Sept. 2019 “Warrnambool City Council will send a delegation to Sweden to learn more about renewable energy despite community anger about the trip.” The vote was 6-0. Cr Hulin declared a conflict and didn’t vote.
    Pretty sure we have a lot of wind power expertise here in Australia, gosh golly, SW Victoria even. And yes we might need more to keep in the game but NOW IS NOT THE TIME.
    Thank you Carol.

Comments are closed.