Tuesday, January 31, 2006

City Council splurge on Games

Ratepayers continue to foot the bill as the full expenses are hidden from public view

Melbourne City Council spends up big on the Commonwealth Games. The Herald-Sun today reports that the City Councillors will spend in excess of $170,000.00 on Commonwealth Games tickets. And that is just the tip of the Ice Berg.

Herald Sun: Ratepayers foot Commonwealth Games splurge bill [31jan06] by Jen Kelly

The City Council has spent much much more overall, most of the expenditure has been hidden away under creative accounting and other budget items. The previous two Councils had spent 100's of thousands of dollars visiting the Sydney Olympics, Junkets to Manchester - London and the like all in the name of the Games.

Part-time Labor Councillor Kate Redwood (Yes the same Kate Redwood elected on the back of McClowns push for the top job). Kate spent over $20,000.00 on a five day visit/junket to Manchester in 2003. To what benefit? Kate was not directly involved in the planning or organisation of the event and has little to no experience, knowledge and skills in sports/event planning.

The concerns expressed by Cr Ng are highly dubious if not deceitful. Surely Ng knew about these expenses before today? If not she should have. She comes out and expresses concern about the level of unbudgeted expenditure only after the Herald-Sun catches them out.

Council expenses, which are due to be published today, are all funded by a bottomless pit of contingent funding from consolidated revenue. We have constantly requested the council provide a budget for Councilor expenses but they never release this information Why?. Because they do not have a budget preferring instead to just pay the cost as and when they occur. No constraints, no financial management and no responsibility.

We challenge and call on the City Council to provide a full detailed account of Games related expenditure so that ratepayers can be informed of the full cost benefits to the City in hosting this two week event.

Game on

Update: For more information and review see Andrew Landeryou's Blog for Freedom article on Cr Ng "Snouts in the trough"

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