Mid-Coast Council Elections

December 4 

Councillors are Wasting Your Money It’s Time To Make Your Vote Count.

• Unnecessary redevelopment of Master’s Site at Taree, costing almost $40m, taking money away from vital community projects.

• $80,000 salary increase for General Manager with NO performance review.

• Lack of transparency in Decision Making.

Here’s the list of restanding Councillors who voted to waste your money. Some of them are now heading a team of candidates. Please consider whether you really want them making decisions on the future of our community? If not, take note of their names.

• David West, Len Roberts, Claire Pontin, Jan McWilliams, Troy Fowler, Katheryn Smith and Karen Hutchinson all voted for both the new Council Chambers on the old Master’s site and General Manager’s increase.

• Kathryn Bell voted in favour of the new Council Chambers.

Below are the details of their financial decisions. 

An example of Council’s attitude to providing basic levels of transparency, a foundation of good governance, is also provided. 

If you agree it’s time for a new direction, please forward this email to your mailing list. 

If not, thank you for your time.

Redevelopment of ‘Master’s Site’.

In spite of strong community opposition, most Councillors decided they needed a glossy new building, at our expense. Council’s own consultant report (by Balmoral Group) put the cost at $39.2 million. COVID has since demonstrated the practicality of remote working, making this expenditure unnecessary and a financial burden on ratepayers for years to come. Community projects, many that have been promised for decades, will continue to be just a dream. 

One example is a bicycle path in Hallidays Point. Linking the villages of Tallwoods, Blackhead, Redhead and Diamond Beach, initial planning began 20 years ago. Doubtless, financial constraints will now push it back another 20 years. 

Every area throughout the Midcoast LGA will have similar stories.

Carefree with OUR Money.

The promised economies of scale and financial savings from the NSW Government sponsored Council amalgamations has not materialised. In fact, this Council has overseen a 20% increase in staffing costs over the last 2 years. Not surprising when you consider some of the restanding Councillors approved a salary increase for the General manager from $350,000 to $430,000 two and a half years into a four year contract. An $80,000 pa.increase, with no performance review to justify their generosity .. 

In light of criticisms from the NSW Government Audit Office regarding timeliness and methodology of this Council’s financial statements, you would have to wonder what Key Performance Indicators this Council, under the leadership of mayor, David West, was measuring. 

How do your salary increases compare? Are they tossed about with no performance review?

Transparency of Decision Making

It’s now obvious this area we are proud to call home has been discovered. Development is not only inevitable, but has the potential to enhance our lifestyle and economy. What is critical is development that benefits the community, not just developers. Currently there are a number of enquiries by community groups for information on DA’s that are before Council. Council is rejecting those applications for information, claiming it’s ‘not in the public interest’. 

Council is there to represent us, not dictate to, or patronise us. Our community and our environment should not be auctioned off to the highest bidder. Transparency of decision making will be critical to ensure that occurs.

The Councillors listed above failed us last time… Don’t give them another chance!

Concerned residents of Midcoast Council LGA.

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