Our Costly Councils
Rachel Clayton Heraldsun 2/10/18
Melbourne Councillors are claiming tens of thousands of dollars in expenses
Some councils claim expenses totaling almost $100,000 in one year, analysis of annual reports and published expense report shows.
Port Phillips nine Councillors claimed almost $100,000 in a year—more than 31 times the sum of just over $3000 that was claimed by Monash’s 11 Councillors.
The local government act allows for the reimbursement of Councillors reasonable out of pocket expenses, incurred carrying out council duties.
Melbourne metropolitan councillors were paid an annual allowance of from $8490 to $30,223 and mayors were paid from $60,442 to $96,534.
Three Port Phillip Councillors claimed over $23,000 for child care and family care expenses the mayor , Cr Bernadine Voss claimed $10,593.48 Cr Tim Baxter $5536.84 and Cr Marcus Pearl $6894.50.
Cr Voss said many of her duties had to be performed after hours, making childcare arrangements often essential.
Ratepayers Victoria vice president Frank Sullivan said he had no faith in the system meant to keep councils accountable.
He wants the Auditor General to follow South Australia’s lead and scrutinise how ratepayer’s cash is spent.
“There’s little to no accountability on the control of those expenses,” he said. “At the end of the day the poor old ratepayer is the one who has to pay.” MR Sullivan said.
In 2016,a parliamentary inquiry found no “over site” of council audit, a lack of independence and work quality concerns.
Councillors at Maribyrnong Council, the third smallest municipality by area claimed $80,071.21 in a year.
Maribyrnong Mayor Catherine Cummings claimed $16,880 for childcare and Cr Cuc Lam claimed $11,884 On top of this Cr Cumming received an allowance of $76,521 and Cr Lam received $24,730.
Casey Councillors spent $75,493 in the past year to June 2017. Mayor Sam Aziz claimed $30,984. Including $15,635 on a car and travel. $9065 on communications, and $6285 on training and education.
Casey government manager Holly De Kretser said Cr AZIZ was entitled to a vehicle for council business.
Training expenses went on coaching services, professional membership and media training.
Minister for local government Marlene Kairouz said she expected councils to be transparent about expenses.
Comment (But not accountable)