At the 8 July Council Meeting MidCoast Councillors approved a Budget Expenditure of $261 Million (on a vote of 6 to 3) for the 2020/21 Financial Year.

Here’s how some of that money will be spent:

Staff Costs: $92,000,000 

An increase of 34%, since this Council was elected in 2017. What do they all do? Just asking. Ed.

When their own Long Term Financial Plan (2018) projected a modest increase of 3.25% per annum.

Consultants: $7,000,000 

An increase of 262%  on last year’s Budget

In March the Quarterly review of last year’s Budget, Consultants costs had blown out to $6.6 Million . (Why can’t we employ bright people on staff instead? Ed)

IT: $10,300,000

This is after the introduction of the multi-million dollar “MC1 System” which Council bought in 2017, but could not get to work until July 2019. 

Council has a five year IT contract; and has paid Year 1 Licencing and upfront provisioning fees of $2,173,824. With an annual licence fee of $815,184.

The Audit of the 2019/20 Budget due to commence soon should reveal all the other IT costs incurred in bringing MC1 on line as well as additional IT costs as a result of the Masters relocation.

No Long Term Financial Plan (LTFP)

MidCoast Council’s Director of Corporate Services acknowledged at the Council Meeting  that there was no current Long Term Financial Plan (the last one being 2018) and that a Consultant would he hired to produce a LTFP later in the year

Why does Council need to employ a Consultant to produce a Long Term Financial Plan? Most Councils are capable of producing their own plans. So how did they come up with the Long Term Financial Plan back in 2018? Surely they’re not trying to fudge some dodgy figures of three years of waste and financial mismanagement?

 No of course not I hear you say. 

Why can’t they just update the existing plan as Councils are required to do each year under the Act? Perhaps an update may be too revealing?

 Will Council try to commence the ‘new’ LTFP from this year (or even next year), and trot out the tired excuses about not being able to properly record from the past and the difficulties of amalgamating four accounting systems. Yawn.

In the corporate sector Council’s financial systems would have been incorporated, done and dusted in 6 months – not four years.  

Why are we paying such high salaries (much higher than in the corporate sector) to people who can’t do the job and have to perpetually drag in so called independent consultants to pull their backsides out of the fire. Just asking. 

Why is it that Council did not update the 2018 Long Term Financial Plan with actual figures for the past two years and their projections for the next seven years. They wouldn’t be hiding anything would they? 

Council Employees

How many people does MidCoast Council actually employ? Wasn’t amalgamation going to save us money? In 20 days Council has advertised 35 positions consisting of: Full Time,  Casual/ Temporary, Part Time , Permanent  Part time and Contract

And that’s just in 20 days. Is anyone keeping count? How many locals have been employed and has the General Manager’s promise to employ apprentices actually been carried out?

Just asking. As we do again and again. 

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