Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Car cost free city

Melbourne City Council refuse disclosure and publication of Lord Mayors and Gary Singers car costs

The City of Melbourne Transport policy has been put on hold and will be subject to further community review. The City Council last week releases its transport policy advocating a car free city.

A car fee city that is unless you are the Lord Mayor or Deputy Lord Mayor.

Our City Councillors, who all receive generous subsidies and benefits from the City Council, are required to declare the costs to ratepayers associated with local travel, these costs are published on the Councillor's quarterly expense statements. That is all councillors except the Lord Mayor, John So and Deputy Lord Mayor Gary Singer.

Both the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor are provided with an all expenses paid limousine, the Lord Mayor has a chauffeur and the Deputy Lord Mayor is self-drive.

The Herald Sun in 1994 reported that John So's Chauffeur was on a salary of over $100,000.00 per year. The overall costs to the Council for the Lord Mayor's luxury car was around $200,000 a year (including petrol, maintenance, garage and driver) The costs associated with the Deputies car was around $60,000.00 per year.

On Tuesday this week the City of Melbourne including Greens Councillor Fraser Brindley and Committee Chairperson and Labor's Brian Shanahan, refused to consider a report calling for teh full disclosure of the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor limousines be included and published in the Councillor's expense statements.

Sadly our councillors do not want to be held accountable and continue to go to extraordinary efforts to avoid publication and disclosure of the cost and the true amount paid in subsidies to the Lord Mayor and Councillors. In order to avoid accountability the Council even refused to publish or make available copies of the report and recommendations for public scrutiny.

Hypocrisy is alive and screaming in the City of Melbourne

In the meantime the City of Melbourne continues to advocate a policy of double-taxation for Melbourne's commuters whist our Lord Mayor, Senior Staff and Councillor's continue to enjoy the benefits of "free car parking" in the City (cost undisclosed).

And if you thought the Greens were about honest transparent governance and integrity think again.

Greens Councillor Fraser Brindley, who during the last election campaign advocated for the scrapping of the Lord Mayor's Car remained silent and did nothing to fulfill his promise to the electorate. Cr Fraser is renowned for having advocated illegal closed information sessions to avoid further public disclosure of Council's expenses.

More soon...

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