Wednesday, February 15, 2006

John So and Co spend up big

32 Million Dollars spent on Games and $170,000 on free tickets for Councillors, Staff, invitees and hangers-on

John So spends up Big using ratepayers money to fund Councillors, Staff and guests.

The Herald sun reports that the City Council will have spent 32 Million dollars on the Commonwealth Games.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Much more had been spent not only by this council but also the previous two Councils including free trips to the Sydney 2000 Olympics, Trips during and after the Manchester games in London and staff have also been spending big visiting various sporting events around the world all attributed to the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games.

If there were Gold medals on offer for the most perks and less then the City Council would be a major contender. No accountability and no shame.

Like pigs with snorts in the trough eating cream.

John So and his fellow Councillors and senior staff have been living a International jet-set playboy like millionaire businessman lifestyle at ratepayers expense. $800.00 a night 5 star accommodation, fist class business travel costing $20,000 a week. Last year the Council spent $400,000 in overseas trips alone.

"Melbourne City Council will spend $170,000 on 728 Games tickets and spots in the lavish, 16-seat hospitality box with most tickets going to hangers-on" reports the Herald Sun

The Melbourne City Council, forever seeking to avoid disclosure and accountability, has consistently refused to release details of invitees, including who will take up 37 opening ceremony tickets costing $590 each with Chinese guests receiving the lions a share of invitations on offer. ( And I thought Hong Kong was no longer part of the Commonwealth)

No one in the Council seams to knows what is going on and or how much it is really costing the City. David Pitchford, Melbourne City Council CEO, reports 21 delegates from Tianjin had accepted invitations, but Cr So last night claimed it was only 12. (Who is telling the truth). Seems like our communist siblings are also into free junkets when they are on offer.

Quarter of a million dollars in contingency funding above and beyond the money already spent and allocated. Council staff will be treated to city accommodation for the Games, costing $13,000. (Don't they have homes?)

Meanwhile Staff have been distracted from their normal duties with their attention focused on the 2 week Games event next month.

Comments reported in the Herald-sun allude to John So and his fellow Councillors looking to impress in the hope of securing reciprocal invites to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

John So and the City Council are up for re-election in November 2008 and given the bill they are racking up I doubt if any of them will be re-elected but John is hoping to scam a few more benefits before he hands over the gold chains and robe (We're still not sure about who owns the possum skin coat)

Meanwhile the City Council continues to avoid full disclosure of the costs associated with internal catering, inbound missions and the cost of the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor's Limousines estimated to be all up costing ratepayers all up over one million dollars a year. It would have to be one of the most corrupt governments in Australia with the amount of money they spend avoiding accountability getting well into the 100's of thousands of dollars.

The City Council should come clean and publish on it's internet site a full account of Games expenditure for all to see and let them be the judge if the excesses of our Lord Mayor, Councillors and staff can be justified.

Have no fear if they continue to abuse the system and refuse to publish the information we will make an FoI application and raise this issue again around budget time. The can continue to waste Council's funds and resources but they will in the end be held to account.

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