It is interesting to note in the Sentinel-Times dated April 25 that Baw Baw Shire Council is the first in Gippsland to address the Andrews Labor Government’s confirmed intention to cap rate increases.
The CEO of Baw Baw Shire stated in the article that a complete restructure has enabled them to reduce staff numbers by seven which would bring their employee numbers to 275.
This compares with our 328 employees.
The table of six similar shires has an average of 245.5 employees.
Bass Coast Shire Council has just approved a Long Term Financial plan and with the knowledge of the rate cap looming, decided to ignore the rate cap, ignore the estimated CPI for the next 10 years and have agreed to a plan with a 4.7 per cent rate increase after year one when the cap will be in place and CPI is likely to be less than 3 per cent each year.
The plan shows that for each of the 10 years, employee costs are more than 49 per cent of total expenditure.
It is obvious that this plan does not intend to reduce the number of employees.
This is now confirmed in the draft budget just released where employee numbers are reduced to 325.1 FTE (full time equivalent) for the next four years.
John Swarbrick, Rhyll.
Ignoring the rate cap?