Snouts in the trough

Heradsun 27/12/18
John Masanauskas
And Laura McFadzean
Snouts in the trough
Council CEOs earn more than our Premier

Local Council bosses in Melbourne are getting average annual Salaries higher than Premier Daniel Andrews.
Municipal chief executive officers are earning up to $460.000 as councils face growing pressure to rein in rate rises and other operational costs.
In 2017-18 the average pay packet for a metro council CEO was about $392,000 a Herald Sun survey has found.
By comparison, Mr Andrews gets $383,703 a year plus allowances, while Prime Minister Scott Morrison earns $527,852 plus allowances.
The top CEO earner last year was City of Melbourne boss Ben Rimmer with a package of $460,000.
Mr Rimmer left this month after a tumultuous year which saw the resignation of former Lord Mayor Robert Doyle over a sexual harassment scandal.
Other well paid chiefs included Greater Dandenong’s John Bennie $440,000 Boroondara.s Phillip Storer $430,000 and Mornington Peninsula’s former boss Carl Cowie $410,000 Ex-Victoria Police chief commissioner Simon Overland took home $340,000 as CEO of Whittlesea, council Earlier this month five councillors refused to attend a council meeting in protest against Mr Overland continuing in the role amid the Lawyer X scandal.
MR Overland said in a video message the police issue had nothing to do with his work at Whittlesea , but a council meeting’s agenda last Friday had a notice of motion about “employment matters involving CEO” The matter was held in secret and no information about the result has been released by council.
Among lower paid metro chief executives were metro chief executives were Maroondah councils Steve Kozlowski and Nillumbik Shire’s former CEO Mark Stoermer ON $330,000.
A Ratepayers Victoria spokesperson Jack Davis SAID COUNCIL CEO’S were on fat salaries while rates were excessive.
“Council have all got their Snouts in the Troughs”he said.
“There’s no trnansparency the more the CEO’S GET THE MORE the counncillors get.”
Mr Davis said CEO selection processes were out of date,and laws were needed to ensure councils were accountable to their communities.

Ratepayers concern ignored

A controversial proposal to develop Dorothy Laver Reserve in Glen Iris came to a head on December 10 with six councillors voting to proceed against a wave of protest from residents and the lacrosse cricket club who has called the reserve home for decades. At the end of this meeting, dozens of angry residents loudly protested within chambers.

Dorothy Laver herself welcomed the Camberwell Lacrosse club to the reserve named in her honour in the early 1980’s. The club have cohabited with the Glen Iris Cricket club and recreational users ever since.

The development will see the location become a soccer facility which the Council refer to as a “community facility”. The rate paying residents are angry that they are losing access to the reserve for the exclusive use by a soccer club who represent approximately 1.5% of the Boroondara population. One of the clubs, the Alamein FC was established in 2015.

The ever changing and confusing public relations disaster has been steered by Officers for months and was originally based on a proposal to lay $4.5m worth of synthetic turf in the area which severely floods up to twice a year.

Residents and environmental groups fought for months to have the synthetic turf proposal abandoned, and it was only a week before the December 10 vote that the Officer conceded the synthetic should be abandoned. The scope of works, changed only a week before the vote and without community consultation has now added road and bike path realignment, road work and creation of additional car spaces by removing vegetation.

A traffic and environmental impact study has not been done, and residents are angry that hundreds of extra cars resulting from a soccer development will add to the already dangerous and congested residential streets never designed for such high levels of traffic.

No allowance has been given for the demand on parking by the East Malvern Football club on the adjacent oval who rely on this area for parking. In addition, Stonnington residents living in close proximity to Dorothy Laver Reserve were not notified by Boroondara Officers of the proposed changes.

Cr. Jim Parke questioned why it had taken a $5000 consultant report to confirm what everybody already knew – it was a flood zone. Officer Mackinnon argued that he had based his proposal on information from Melbourne Water flood charts. The proposal, described by Cr. Jim Parke as “a train wreck” has torn at the very heart of the community, created anguish and hurt amongst sports clubs but united the community.

There is deep distrust towards Boroondara council now by residents who feel there has been no transparency and no proper community consultation. The proposal passed on December 10 is significantly changed from the original, which the community argues should have resulted in its full abandonment.

Councillors Jim Parke and Felicity Sinfield agree, both of whom motioned and argued the merits for its abandonment.

Cr. Steve Hurd has described the protest as “childish tantrums” with “bullying” that was “disgraceful”. He stated that it did the protest “no good”. Mayor Jane Addis wrote in one email that the unrest in the community had been caused by “a handful of residents telling so many lies”.

The community continue to question the future of development at Dorothy Laver Reserve and what the cost will be. Boroondara continue to state that they support the facility as a ‘WNPL’ (Premier League soccer) site, yet deny they will support mandatory WNPL facility requirements such as electric scoreboards, 1.8m fencing, PA systems and undercover seating.

There are currently 2,600 petition signatures and over 1200 letters of objection were submitted to Councillors and the CEO. Protest signage and orange ribbons supporting the Save Dorothy Laver Reserve campaign continue to cover the neighbourhood.

Protest lobby representatives continue to lobby for the development to be abandoned and that all avenues will be investigated to receive fair representation of the community’s wish to retain Dorothy Laver Reserve as it is.
Boroondara resident and Ratepayer

keep an eye on council rates

Ratepayers Victoria Inc
October 2018 ·
This is the third year that a cap on council rates has been imposed by the State Government. The maximum rates are allowed to increase in 2017-18 is 2.25%.

The cap only applies to rates and not other council fees or charges. We have already seen some councils trying to get around the rate cap by introducing a new charge, e.g. City of Yarra trying to slug residents with a new cash grab of $247 to have rubbish collected….

Its only a matter of time Victoria is heading down the same road as the Paris Riots

Council rates and charges are become a serious concern for rate payers
The current model presents the biggest cost or impost or burden to people. Farmers and small businesses. Cost shifting over the past 30 years from State to Councils has resulted in increases to rate which have become unaffordable. The groundswell of discontent is because of the inability to pay resulting as a major factor of poverty and significant impediment to people, farmers, families and small businesses. Council rates are causing people hardships to an extent they are humiliate and despair to those that have difficulty or cannot pay. Council rates are causing significant financial strain which directly contribute to mental stress and family and business problems and breakdowns.
Over 3 decades successive State Governments have either forced or hoodwinked Councils to force ratepayers to fund goods and services that have traditionally been provided by the State. There seems no end to this trend whereby the State Parliament has deduced Councils to mere tax collectors for the State. We have arrived at a point in time where State taxes have been conveniently disguised as Council rates simply to shift the burden from the State to Councils for no other reason other than to improve the State budget. At this rate of transfer of responsibility will render the States irrelevant.
The fact that Victorian Councils are able to calculate and impose rates which vary wildly create anomalies which are in fact corrupt by definition. If the value of land and improvements is the basis on which the ability to pay is based, then this assumption must be applied across all Victorian Councils in order to be fair, just and equitable to all. In this respect the argument is that people who own properties with the same value pay the same Council rates. After all, how can owners of properties of the same value be asked to pay vastly different rates? If people cannot afford the goods and services then they cannot be expected to fund something they cannot afford. If the State government wishes to provide goods and services for which the ratepayers cannot afford then the money must come from the State Treasury! Councils demand huge rate for vastly different amounts for no apparent reason.
Council rates must be based on a formula taking into account of actual income and the ability to pay within household and business expenditure. Either all land is subject to be rated, or no land at all, because too few are forced to pay way too much.
Jack Davis
Ratepayers Victoria Inc

Ratepayers Victoria Inc
October 10 ·
This is the third year that a cap on council rates has been imposed by the State Government. The maximum rates are allowed to increase in 2017-18 is 2.25%.

The cap only applies to rates and not other council fees or charges. We have already seen some councils trying to get around the rate cap by introducing a new charge, e.g. City of Yarra trying to slug residents with a new cash grab of $247 to have rubbish collected….

credit card fraud

For some time now ,Ratepayers Victoria have been concerned about the lack of control of council credit cards here in Victoria

It has recently reported in the media that the Auditor General in South Australia has ordered an audit on all council credit cards in S.A. due to the misuse of these cards

This recent report from New South Wales indicated that a council employee at the town of Hay ,a country town in NSW ,has misused the council credit by up to $500.000 and the Local Government Minister has now demanded answers as to how this has happened and has said that new measures would be put into place to ensure that these cards are properly used

Ratepayers Victoria did put in a submission to the recent review of the local government act that as there is no accountability with the council credit cards in the present 1989 LG Act ,that the council audit committee of a council who meet every three months , monitor these credits cards to ensure that they are been used correctly

Our request was completely ignored

RPV can assure you our ratepayers ,who pay these council credit cards ,that we will continue to fight to get changes in the new local government act that there is accountability of the use of these cards

It is your money ratepayer

Jack Davis


Terminate membership of the Municipal Association Victoria

I refer to the Supreme Court case Lake V Municipal Association of Victoria.
Also why should ratepayers pay for services that Ratepayers do not receive any benefit??
Whittlesea Council and several other councils have withdrew their membership of the MAV, (Municipal Association Victoria)
This in our opinion would make Cr Lalios of the Whittlesea Council is ineligible to continue as President or a representative of the Whittlesea Council as they are no longer a financial member of the MAV
However Monash Cr Lake decided that she should remain as president for the contractual term of her appointment and took the case to the Supreme Court.
Mr Lake is suing the MAV for his costs in this matter, again whether he wins or loses it ratepayers funds.
Whether Cr Lalios is eligible to remain as a member of the board is a matter for the court to decide.
“As Mornington council found out council insurance can be obtain at private insurance companies a lot cheaper than the MAV” can provide
Ratepayers Victoria is of the opinion that the MAV does not represent Ratepayers or make any decisions that would benefit Ratepayers, therefore all councils should consider terminating their membership of the MAV.
Although Councils have funds, these funds and assets belong to the ratepayers, why should ratepayers pay for services that do not benefit ratepayers??
Why the MAV get funding from the Federal and State Governments has to be a big “ why “ ??
Ratepayers Victoria consider that this is another example of ratepayers money not been spend wisely by some councils using the MAV for their council insurance. Councils are elected to represent the ratepayer and spend their hard earned rate payments wisely .RPV can assure all councils in Victoria that the ratepayer groups in Victoria are now preparing for council elections in November 2020
RPV request that all local councils consider terminating their Financial MAV membership and insurance

Jack Davis

A State Royal Commission or a parliamentary inquiry


A State Royal Commission or a parliamentary inquiry (like for example the Federal Commission into banks) will allow all including Ratepayer groups, ratepayers, members of the community, councils and other organisations to speak up and put forward their concerns which would be reported on by the independent chairperson of the Commission or inquiry.

This is different to what occurred with the proposed new Local Government Act where the submissions were considered by the Department of Local Government and its selected panel of only council people with which we have serious concerns about their total independence from local government. For example, the director responsible in the government department was a CEO of Knox council and therefore his decisions could not help but be influenced by his one sided Council knowledge and experience.

Local Councils are out of control their history over the past years is appalling, the state government has done nothing to protect the right of Ratepayers and resident of Victoria.
Jack Davis
Ratepayers Victoria Inc.

Mayors cash in on rise

Mayors and councillors cash in on rise
Dozens of Victorian Mayors will enjoy annual allowances and superannuation’s payments of more than $100,000 under pay rises approved by the state Government.
But the highest-paid elected local government official is Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp whose annual allowance plus super will jump to $215,639 from December 1.
Ms Capps deputy Arron Wood will earn $107,819 and their Councillors will be paid $49,325 each under a 2 per cent rise gazetted by the local government minister Marlene Kairouz.
It can be revealed City of Melbourne ratepayers jumped up $65,658 in airfares hotels and other expenses for Councillors over the past year.
Trips included $11,181 for a Councillor to attend an “intelligent community forum global summit” in London and $24,000 for 2 Councillors to take part in a business mission to China and Japan.
The council has previously said local and international travel was integral to capital City Councillors representing the interest of “citizens and stakeholders” with trade and travel missions delivering millions of dollars in investments for Melbourne.
But Ratepayers Victoria vice president Frank Sullivan said councils must be more accountable for the overseas trips taken by Councillors.
“We are concerned that there is little or no accountability” he said.
Mr Sullivan also called for the state government to appoint an independent body to make a fair and just assessment of the level of councillor’s allowances.
Under the latest pay rise Mayors from 24 top-tier, or category three councils will see their pay go up by $1931 to $98,465 plus super 9.5 per cent in super payments. Ordinary Councillors will get up to $30,827 a year plus super.
These Councillors include big metro ones such as Boroondara, Frankston, Moreland, Port Phillip and Whitehorse and regional ones including Ballarat, Greater Bendigo and Surf Coast.
Allowances for Mayors at category two councils –including Bayside, Hobsons Bay, Manningham, La Trobe, Mildura and Wangaratta – rise to $79,612 plus super, WITH COUNCILLORS GETTING UP TO $25,730.
Category one Councillors Mayors will get $61,651 and Councillors up to $20,636, plus super.
City of Greater Geelong Mayor Bruce Harwood will get $107,819 including super, from next month, while his deputy Peter Murrihy will get $33,755.
John editoral Page 8

Ratepayers president Jack Davis stated that we can now expect more increases in local government rates
In spite of our concerns raised with the Minister for local government Marlene Kairouz. who has ignored the hundreds of complaint and concerns raised by ratepayers about the abuse of the Local government act by Councillors
Rate rises of between 40% to 100% are common.

This is proof the labor minister Marlene Kairouz is not interested in ratepayers concerns.
We urge Ratepayers at the State election to express their concerns

Group Membership list edited June 2019

Ratepayers Victoria Inc
Membership List
Aiming to be the peak advocacy body for all Victorian Ratepayers,we encourage
the formation of new Ratepayers Associations from various cities.
To Date we are proud to be affiliated with the following groups

Updated April 2018

3228 Residents association inc (Torquay)
Ararat Rural City Ratepayers Association
Bairnsdale Ratepayers
Bass Coast Ratepayers and Residents Association Inc.
Baw Baw Shire Ratepayers & citizens Association
Bayside Ratepayers
Bendigo Greater Ratepayers Assoc.
Boroondara Ratepayers
Cardinia Ratepayers
Casey resident and Ratepayers ASS. Members 30
Central GoldFields Ratepayers
Colac Otway Ranges Ratepayers & residents
Darebin Ratepayers
East Gippsland Shire Ratepayers
Fawkner Residents Association
Frankston Save our Suburbs
Geelong Ratepayers Members 21
Golden Plains Ratepayers & Residents Association
Greater Dandenong Ratepayers
Horsham Ratepayers
Kilmore Ratepayers
Knox Ratepayers Ass
Latrobe City Ratepayers Ass
Loddon Shire Residents & Ratepayers
Macedon Ranges residents Ass
Maribyrnong Ratepayers
Monash Ratepayers
Morland Shire Ratepayers
Mornington Peninsula Ratepayers & Residents Ass.
Moyne Residents and Ratepayers Action Group Inc.
Mt Martha Ratepayers
Nepean Ratepayers
Phillip Island Ratepayers
Port Phillip Ratepayers
Oakleigh Planning central
Nillumbik Ratepayers Association
Mildura Ratepayers Victorian
Sale Ratepayers
Shepparton Ratepayers
Swan Hill Rural City Ratepayers Ass
Wangaratta Ratepayers
Warrnambool Ratepayers
Whitehorse Ratepayers& Residents Ass.
Whittlesea Ratepayers Ass.
Yarra Ranges Ratepayers
Yarraville Ratepayers