Mayor's community Message

12 June

RYDE CENTRAL MISMANAGEMENT

Today, I will be looking at the discovery in 2022 of financial mismanagement within Council that caused all work on the Ryde Central project to be halted.

The impact of that discovery has produced significant and ongoing issues for Council’s financial position.

After the sod turning ceremony for the 1 Devlin Street site was held in October 2021, work commenced on planning and undertaking essential underground infrastructure for the project.

But in August 2022, the then new City of Ryde CEO Wayne Rylands was alerted by the Chief Financial Officer that $95 million in funds from Council’s Repealed Developer Contributions Plans and Other Externally Restricted Reserves was transferred to Internally Restricted Reserves. 

Of this, $35.5 million had been inappropriately allocated for the Ryde Central Project. Although another $52.5m was spent, the majority of the money was allocated towards providing infrastructure and other programs which delivered a community benefit and was not required to be returned. 

There was also inappropriate movement and/or use of funds (remaining balance of $7m) in other externally restricted reserves, such as Voluntary Planning Agreements, and the Domestic Waste Reserve.

Following verification of the improper transfer of funds by forensic accountants, Nexia Australia, the CEO then reported the matter to the Office of Local Government (OLG), the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) and the NSW Audit Office (AO).

The OLG described the transfer of the funds as “illegal” stating: “There may have been, or may be potential for, significant waste of public money”.

Next week: righting the wrong.

MEADOWBANK UPDATE

I attended the reopening of Constitution Road Meadowbank recently and was pleased to see the newly built footpath opened and traffic flowing in both directions again after three months of intensive construction work.

Council has completed stage one of this project, which is the rock cutting and footpath construction as well as a new pedestrian crossing, enabling safe pedestrian access to Meadowbank Station. 

I appreciate the patience of our community while this project was completed. For further updates on our ongoing work at Meadowbank click here.
 

Yours Sincerely,

Clr Brown - Mayor

Clr Trenton Brown
Mayor - City of Ryde
Phone: Office of the Mayor 9952 8222.
Email mayor@ryde.nsw.gov.au