Mikhaela Barlow, candidate for Westernport is very critical of those members of the community wanting the Bass Coast Shire Council to reduce staff numbers. I am one of these.
I do not criticise individual employees of the council, there are many doing their best to achieve positive outcomes.
But I ask Mikhaela Barlow, why has Bass Coast 56 more employees on their staff than Baw Baw Shire when Baw Baw has a greater income, managing $15 million more income than Bass Coast, has expenses lower than Bass Coast by $6 million, spends $14 million more on Capital Expenditure and produces $21 million more surplus?
It is also a much larger shire which means more roads to repair and has an asset renewal of 116 per cent compared to Bass Coast’s 74 per cent.
The employee costs of Bass Coast are greater than Baw Baw by almost $6 million.
It is easy to state “The answer to budgetary constraints is not cuts”, however examination of Bass Coast Budgets with both Baw Baw and Surf Coast (similar income rural shires) clearly show that without cuts in expenditure, Bass Coast will not make progress and achieve community expectations.
The annual report 2015/2016 shows that last year income was down and expenditure was up compared to budget.
The difference was a poorer performance to budget by $5.024 million. Capital works expenditure was down by $7,036 million.
We have to make surpluses to be able to apply for grant funding, often requiring a dollar contribution for a dollar grant.
Ms Barlow stated she has an economic plan. This should be explained to voters. Waving a magic wand will not achieve a satisfactory result.
We need candidates who understand council’s finances.
John Swarbrick, Rhyll.
Staff cost capital works