A right rip-off

HOW much rent do you reckon office digs cost on the Gold Coast?

I’m only hazarding a guess here, but I’m thinking for an average sized office to fit a couple of dozen staff, perhaps it’s somewhere in the vicinity of a few grand a week.

These modern premises in Southport, for instance, are renting for $250m2. That equates to around $125,000 for 1000 square metres of space.


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That’s a little under $10,000 a month. Maybe you could stretch to $20,000 a month, for really impressive or really big offices.

So how is it, then, that the Gold Coast Titans’ charity arm, Titans 4 Tomorrow, was paying $750,000 a year for rent?

That’s what finance records obtained by the Bulletin are claiming.

They’re saying that rent for space at the Titans’ Centre of Excellence peaked at $748,000 in 2011.

That’s around $15,000 a week. Or two thousand dollars a day.

And that money was going straight into the coffers of the Gold Coast Titans.

Now, it may just seem like expensive rent.

Until we learn that last year, it inexplicably dropped to just $88,000 per annum.

Somehow, the rent reduced by almost 90% – despite the fact that Titans 4 Tomorrow increased its programs tenfold!

Come again?

How does that work – did they downground to an office that was 90% smaller?!

Whatever, you may think. Doesn’t affect me.

Except that, well, it does.

It turns out that the organisation received $2.3 million in Federal Government funding in 2013, and $1.35 million in 2012. That’s putting our tax dollars to good use, eh?

They also generated more than $3.5 million in outside sponsorship during that period.

According to chairman Joshua Creamer, there’s nothing untoward going on.

He says an audit, or “reasonableness review” examined transactions between Titans and Titans 4 Tomorrow for the years 2010, 2011 and 2012, and found that everything was above board.

“It reviewed the costs and charges between the non-profit entity Titans 4 Tomorrow and the Gold Coast Titans. That report definitively concluded without exception or caveat that all transactions between the entities were reasonable and commercial,” he says.

Surely reasonable is a matter of opinion, because in my view, $750,000 for a charity’s rental expenses that suddenly drops to $88,000? Well, that sure ain’t reasonable.

 

The Meddler

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Here’s your chance to get your opinion in front of a large audience and earn a dollar! Anything from the minutiae to the meaningful, the heartfelt to the humorous, if you’ve got an issue or a rant you think Gold Coasters need to read submit it to The Meddler. There’s $50 for each contribution published. Contributions should be under 400 words. myGC reserves the right to edit articles submitted. Please visit Share with myGC under the Views MENU for more details.

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