Ratepayers have a golden opportunity this October to elect a council which will address the many issues which have caused the Bass Coast Shire Council in the past to be so maligned.
It is of interest to note that an outstanding candidate for Bunurong Ward has, among other matters, identified accountability and financial transparency as two areas that need attention.
The ratepayers need a clear statement from the council as to why it is essential to pay large fees to outside consultants on various issues while we pay council staff employed in positions which cover those issues?
Accountability requires council to account for every action taken, not just some and the ratepayers rely solely on the councillors to ensure this is achieved.
Hence the need for councillors to be steadfast in ensuring they have Council act accordingly.
There are many areas where it is essential that the council provide full financial transparency of all allocated expenditure.
It is ratepayers’ money with which they are entrusted to use for the benefit of the community.
For example, the rapid growth in population has been met with an increase in subdivisions, mainly of agricultural land, re-zoning and a new approach to planning, where existing town blocks can now be subdivided into two or three smaller blocks.
This increases the rates collected without council spending a penny, so one has difficulty in understanding how they justify rate increases.
The new councillors must ensure full financial transparency in all such matters is readily available to the ratepayers. Audit reports must be made available to the community. Surely it is our money and we are entitled to know if it is being mishandled
To achieve this we must look to qualified and experienced candidates who can professionally analyse all matters arising and ensure the CEO is steering the council in the right direction so we can have comfort the ratepayers’ money and interests are correctly and wisely administered.
Ian Bulloch, Inverloch.