Hotel Australasia bill ‘unbelievable’: $70,000 spent on ‘maintenance’

Costs associated with Eden’s Hotel Australasia have topped $700,000 Bega Valley Shire Council has revealed.

The information follows a council resolution on August 8 to release the amount of money spent on the hotel.

Council has listed the purchase price as $535,737 and said $102,462 had been spent on legal costs and consultants. Part of those costs would be the design for a refurbished hotel and the DA lodgement. 

Almost $70,000 ($69,821) has been spent on maintenance of the building council said and the sum involved has prompted questions of council about how the money was spent.

The Magnet understands community members had asked about the costs for maintenance and were told they would need to lodge a Freedom of Information (GIPA) request.

However a council spokeswoman told the Magnet that maintenance costs cover the three-year period council has owned the hotel and include “a whole range of internal and external cleaning up, reboarding of windows to prevent vandalism, making sure the building is secure and Workplace Health and Safety inspections”.

The spokeswoman said the inspections were necessary to ensure that if anyone did break in, they did not seriously injure themselves because of the state of the building. She maintained that much of the work though, related to prevention of vandalism and that the costs included council town team time and also contractors costs when they had to be used.

But Hotel Australasia campaigner Amanda Midlam said the building was far from secure. “This is unbelievable. There are wires hanging down and an open window,” Ms Midlam said.

Council said it is moving ahead with plans to engage three Eden real estate agents to provide a detailed marketing plan for the sale of the hotel. The plans will include costings related to commissions and other expected expenses and will be brought back to council prior to any further action as agreed at a recent council meeting.

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