Despite declaring a tight budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, Moonee Valley Council is spending money rebranding its swimming pools and golf course to increase Council’s presence on signage and promotional material that has been dominated by contractors’ logos.
The rebranding is part of the MVCC’s Aquatic Leisure Plan, 2014, that states:
“One of the disadvantages of outsourcing operation to external contractors is the loss of Council presence and branding. The contractor logo is predominant on all signage and promotional material and there has been limited space for Council’s logo.”
The Plan sets a goal of introducing Council branding across all centres.
The tender for rebranding and digital signage has closed and the value of the tender and overall cost to MVCC ratepayers is not clear. A response as to the cost has been sought from MVCC.
The CEO, Bryan Lancaster, has placed a public notice for the renaming of three swimming pools and the Riverside Golf Course and invited public comment by July 18.
The Place Naming Committee, consisting of Councillors Sharpe, Cusack and Sipek, have given in principle approval to the following names for the facilities.
The rebranding exercise is understood to be funded as part of the 2019/20 budget, although it’s not clear whether the funding was carried over in the 2020/21 budget voted on by MVCC last week as the tender has not yet been awarded.
In the budget papers approved last Tuesday, the expenditure for the management of the pools (Leisure Facilities) was doubled, despite the revenue being reduced to 14%, presumably due to closures resulting from COVID-19 restrictions.
The actual expenditure for 2018/19 for the same service area was listed as $2.55 million, despite the $1.148 million forecast in the budget papers 12 months ago.
It’s not clear whether the more than 100% budget overrun in the service area was the result of the sewage issue in March 2019. An additional $700,000 was included in the capital works budget for that year to mop up the sewage failure, and $500,000 was paid directly by the Council’s insurer.
The Council website states that the rebranding is aligned with MV2040, but no item is included in MV2040 that refers to rebranding the centres. Further information has been sought from MVCC.
Submitters, including myself, who sought additional funding in the 2020/21 budget to address climate change have been dismayed by the funding for rebranding during a climate and COVID emergency.
On a lighter note, perhaps MVCC does need some additional attention to the branding of its public notices page:
Note: Rose Iser is a candidate for the 2020 Myrnong Ward election, MVCC