Friday, June 19, 2009

Budget Comments

Give us your comments on the budgeting process for MornPen.

Site any specific information where appropriate.


  1. By the time the “Draft Budget” is analyzed and submissions put forward it is too late for any major changes as most decisions have been made. So it is essential to get plugged into this process B4 the draft budget is put together and to work closely with your councillor during the process.

    Also, the budget is “driven” by the Strategic Plan (and rightly so) and it essential that we understand the Strategic Plan and get our inputs in to that document also.

    Once we understand the Strategic Plan and its implications we can then have rational discussions about the budget relative to the Strategic Plan.

  2. Editorial ... Mornington Peninsula Leader, July 7: An Overrated Funds Formula

    RATEPAYERS have heard it all before councils announcing a rate rise with a heavy heart and then blaming other levels of governments for giving them more responsibilities, but no more money.

    In an open letter to Leader Community Newspapers, the president of the Victorian Local Governance Association, Rose Iser, argued that the rises, across the board, were only marginally above the inflation rate, and that an average increase of 58c a week was not excessive.

    But the real question is how sustainable the current council funding formula really is? If ratepayers won't cop a rate rise, surely it is inevitable that services will suffer?
    Quite appropriately, ratepayers are reluctant to contemplate their community without a certain level of council service.

    Ratepayers are also understandably wary of councils wanting to slug them for higher rates when they feel their councils only deliver the bare necessities or worse, waste their money on activities that have little community benefit.

    Most councils are faced with having to generate half of their funding through rate revenue. This is an extraordinary imposition on the ratepayer that if allowed to continue will mean we will pay significantly more for substantially less.

    It is time for councils to have an alternative guaranteed source of funding. Ratepayers cannot go on carrying the burden.

  3. Posted at the request of Roger Lambert, Mornington: letter to the Leader

    Today (14.07.09) I attended the MPSC Budget Submission Committee meeting. I was distressed to hear a submitter inform the committee that of the net $25K they made from farming activities, the MPSC was demanding over $16K Rates!! 64% of income to be paid as Rates!!

    The farm could not be passed on to the next generation as a viable enterprise, nor could it, under MPSC planning rules, be subdivided and sold. The family has farmed the land for 5 generations.
    So much for a Sustainable Peninsula.

    It is high time this Councils remorseless demand for Rates to match its profligate spending was stopped. It needs to return to just providing the core services normally provided by Local Government, and desist from providing all the fringe interest groups "wants" and concentrate on the community's basic needs.

    When faced with the scenario given above it strains the credibility, (and patience), to know the MPSC are now considering part funding a worker in East Timor!!

    1. I agree that Council must get back to providing just core services. As one example; there are so many streets in Mornington that don't have footpaths on either side forcing people to walk on the road.
      I suggest council obtains advice from independant auditors on how to cut back their expenses and work towards providing a more efficient council. Even if this means reducing the size of their empire.

  4. Spending of Funds in Mornington Ward:

    Posted from the Shire website (council minutes) from public question and answer time. I say, then what in the hell do we elect them for by ward??? What a bunch of Crap and the problem is that our elected councillors have been coerced into thinking like this also.

    Mr. Scott Crowe, a resident of Mornington, asked the following question: …“Reading the Proposed Budget for the Shire for 2009/2010 I am unable to identify what monies are being spent in the Mornington Ward. What is the purpose of producing such a large document if we as constituents are unable to identify projects for discussion with our Ward Councillor?”

    Dr. Michael Kennedy OAM, Chief Executive Officer advised that Ward boundaries are not a consideration for the allocation of Budget funds. Each Ward has diverse requirements and making Ward comparisons is not appropriate. The size and topography of the Shire will dictate how funds are spent. Examples are drainage related works and fire reduction works.

    Councillors represent the whole Shire, but will endeavour to respond to questions relating to Ward specific budgets

  5. We need out budgets and actual results shown like product line statements in a corporation where major items are listed with incomes and costs.

    Some categories might be:
    • Tourism
    • Retail
    • Ratepayer
    • Industrial
    • Manufacturing
    • Health and Welfare

    This will allow us to see where our money is being spent and then make rational decisions (like in corporations) based on that information.

    TheShire will certainly go on to tell us they have “global” shire issues to consider and that all things cannot make a profit (Tourism, for example) but we still have the right to now.

    TheShire will certainly talk about how costly this would be but only on a first time basis if the accounting system they have is worth its “Salt”.

    And then we could get a narrative (justification) why this money is spent and how it relates to the Strategic Plan.

    Joe Lenzo: Editor