The Adviser on May 25 published two pages of the Greater Shepparton City Council Draft Budget Proposals 2011-2012 seeking community input.
To better understand it, I obtained a copy of the Draft Budget from the Council office, a document of 131 pages.
In The Adviser it states “Council is proposing to collect $53 million from general rates, the municipal charge and waste service charges. This is an increase in total revenue of 6.95% compared to the previous year”.
On page 73 of the Budget document, Income Statement, it lists Rates & Charges 2010/11 as $49,516,000 and Budget for 2011/12 as $53,480,000, being an increase of $3,964,000, which is an 8% increase.
On page 58, under Rating Strategy, the document shows how they calculate 6.95% change.
Typical of this document, figures do change from page to page and there are typo or printers errors, which should not happen when there is a staff of nearly 500 plus 7 Councillors preparing and checking it.
The staff numbers are shown on page 34 increasing in 2011/12 by 10 to total 502 at a budget cost of $35,839,000, so the cost of all staff is probably close to 80% of Rates and Charges or 50% of total expenses.
Capital Works internally funded from Rates and Charges for 2011/12 is shown $24,770,620 which is only 26% of total expenses. There is $2,380,000 funded externally for Capital Works making total proposed Capital Works 28.62% of total expenses (some works questionable).
Ratepayers should be interested in this proposed budget. I became concerned when I realised the Council over the past four years, this year, and plan for the next three years to increase the budget nearly 7% (8 years at 7% – unbelievable), (of course we need to keep paying for the increasing staff).
The Adviser on May 25 provided a space to have your say. Cut it out and let Councillors know you are happy or not happy with how they spend our money.
Keppel A Turnour
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