The Municipal Association of Victoria estimates that labour, materials, inflation etc. results in a 4% increase per annum to councils across the state. If correct, that would mean that in order to simply maintain the same level of service, councils would have to increase their funding of various projects by this same percentage rise. Anything less indicates a decline in funding, and hence a decline in service provision.

Glen Eira’s stated objective is to “maintain existing service levels”. A review of the current and last year’s budget figures reveals that this is not happening when the 4% cost hikes are accounted for. The following figures are taken directly from the two budgets. Please note that some services have been REDUCED far in excess of what a 4% rate would indicate.

SERVICE

2012/13 BUDGET

2013/14 BUDGET

Aged Care $634,000 $570,000
Family & children’s services $706,000 $110,000
Shopping Centres $550,000 $550,000
Pensioner Rebate $270 $270
Libraries $750,000 $771,000 (should be at least $780,000 to maintain parity)
Drains $3.9 million (this included over $450,000+ for Boyd Park storm water harvesting which had to be returned to the Commonwealth once the full project was decided against) $3.5 million
Footpaths $1.73 million $1.73 million
LATM renewal $200,000 $200,000
Kerb & Channel replacement $160,000 $160,000

 

Funding HAS increased by $100,000 for ‘pedestrian safety’, but gone down by $50,000 for ‘school safety’. Building works of course keep skyrocketing from $805,000 to $1.34 million.

One very interesting item is $105,000 for the ‘restoration’ of the conservatory! Exactly what this means is anyone’s guess – especially since there was the council resolution to do nothing but undertake further ‘consultation’. It also begs the question of how much work was done in maintaining the building in 2012/13 since it has been allowed to deteriorate to such an extent. No figures were provided for this item in last year’s budget.

Finally, we draw readers’ attention to our post of one year ago. It is still very, very relevant! See: https://gleneira.wordpress.com/2012/05/16/can-we-trust-them-2/

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