Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Junket Committee resurrected

Melbourne City Council proposes re-establishing junket committee to boost Councillors prospects of Travel benefits

The Melbourne City Council has proposed the re-establishment of a special Travel Committee to decide who and when Councillors can seek to take holidays at ratepayers expenses.

Melbourne's most travelled Councillor, Liberal Party member - Fiona Sneden, has proposed that the Council removes delegated authority for approval of Councillor Travel from the Lord Mayor and transfers that responsibility back to a special committee titled "Council International Connections Committee" (CICC).

This committee is a waste of time and resources and should be rejected as it currently is proposed..

Whilst there is merit in removing delegated authority from the Lord Mayor the resurrection of the disgraced Travel Committee is not necessary. There already is a committee in place that can and should consider Council travel issues. It is called the Finance and Governance Committee.

Council staff have already strategically removed the right of the Finance and Governance Committee to consider and decide on issues related to governance.

The establishment of another Special Travel committee be it under a "new name" is necessary and a waste of limited resources. All that the proposal by Cr Sneden serves is to avoid public awareness and the right of the public to monitor and review the Council and the larks and perks that Councillors continue to seek to regard themselves for being good councillors.

All Council's International and Interstate Travel should be included and attached to the Finance Committee without the need and expense associated with the cost of establishing another useless inappropriate committee that meets behind closed doors away from the public eye.

It never ceases to amuse that the Council staff, in this case Linda Weatherson, falsely states in her report " There are no direct financial implications relating to the adoption of the recommendations contained in this report".

It appears that the City Council is more concerned about councilor benefits and travel then about good governance and representation.



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