Today’s Caulfield Leader features the public advertising of the Glen Eira budget and Strategic Resource Plan. Once again the public is assailed with the following claims in its budget papers – Glen Eira Council is characterised by low taxing (rates and charges)….low spending……

How true these claims are, readers can judge for themselves with the following facts on past and projected rate increases in Glen Eira from 2007 until 2017 –

2007/8 – 6.5%

2008/9 – 6.5%

2009/10 – 6.5%

2010/11 – 6.5%

2011/12 – 6.0%

2012/13 – 6.5%

2013/14 – 6.5%

2014/15 – 6.5%

2015/16 – 6.5%

2016/17 – 5.0%

By way of comparison here’s what some of our neighbouring councils forecast for their residents –

BAYSIDERating levels Modest rate increases are forecast over the four years. Council proposes a rate increase of 3.9% in 2014/15 and 4.3% for the following thee years to 2017/18.

STONNINGTON General rates are projected to increase by 4.3 percent in 2014/15 and 4.3 percent over the remaining years to 2017/18

On top of this, staff numbers continue to climb dramatically – again in stark contrast to other councils which often have a much larger area to service and a far greater population. Here are the Equivalent Full Time figures and these do not include the number of ‘contractors’ –

Bayside – 396

Port Phillip – 795

Yarra – 706

Stonnington – 575

Manningham – 493

Moonee Valley 728

Whitehorse – 654

Glen Eira  – 775

PS: We neglected to point out the following –

  • Council no longer claims that it provides the largest pensioner rebate on earth. Instead, the language now states that the rebate of $270 is higher than in most Victorian municipalities. The government subsidy was $253 and for 2014/15 is said to rise to $258. That means that Council’s ‘largesse’ has been decreasing each single year and that this year will signal the magnificent sum of approximately $12 per pensioner!

PPS: After a decade of promises, delays, and inaction, the Tree Register issue remains in the land of the never-never. Action Items for the 2013/14 budget stated in its goals and measures the following:

Introduce Local Law which creates the framework for a Classified Tree Register- Local Law adopted by Council.

The 2014/15 Action Plan has ‘re-engineered’ this outcome by stating –

Introduce Local Law which creates the framework for a Classified Tree Register – Local Law exhibited by Council.

So here’s another example of a council resolution that hasn’t been fulfilled. Further ‘adopting’ and ‘exhibiting’ a Local Law are vastly different things. There is no guarantee that by June 30th 2015 we will be any closer to having a Tree Register in Glen Eira – nor for that matter even clapping eyes on what promises to be a highly controversial set of Local Law amendments.