Western Suburbs Alliance -13 November 2014
Many of our Local Government electors are ill informed as to the extent of required changes attributable to council amalgamations and the variety of areas where additional costs will be incurred. Such was the comment in a letter to the West Australian early in November 2014 when the writer commented “Surely it won’t cost millions to alter the stationery”.
Changes to stationery stocks are the very least of the costs which amalgamated councils will be forced to fund. Here are a few more of the initial costs of this exercise:
– Aligning of all the IT, financial and administrative systems. There are currently four different IT platforms operating throughout Local Government in WA.
– The cost of election of new councilors, which will forever be tainted by the demands of the political parties of our state.
– Aligning all operational procedures
– Retraining of staff
– Designing and applying new logos, stationery, street and other signs, websites, etc.
– Refurbishing of council offices or even building and establishing new and bigger offices.
– Redundancies and/or redeployment
– The growing number of costs being passed on to councils by the State and Federal governments
– Other costs – who knows???
And then there are additional ongoing costs such as the cost of replacing all current elected low paid councillors (about $35,000 per year at present) with up to 12 new councillors per huge Council to be paid up to $120,000 each per year as in the Eastern States. Council CEO’s will have to be paid much more to equate with higher responsibilities. In addition, Mayors of these new super Councils will need to be paid 3 times more than their current $80,000 or so per year. Certainly there are no savings to be had in this area.
So not only will we be faced with huge initial and ongoing additional costs, we have no idea just how much these costs will amount to.
Perhaps the Premier or the Minister for Local Government have estimates of these additional costs. If not – why not? If Yes – why haven’t we been told just what these costs will amount to?
13 November 2014