Former Moira Shire employee says numbers in draft 2014-15 budget don't stack up.ROB HENSON May 28, 2014 3:15am
Moira Shire’s finances have been called into question by a former employee who accuses council of misleading its ratepayers over rates and the municipality’s financial health.
Former Moira Shire chief financial officer Adrian Pawar this week circulated an ‘urgent’ email to councillors, local media, Local Government Minister Tim Bull and Local Government Victoria executive director Nick Foa.
It comes after hot debate on council’s draft budget document at public meetings at Numurkah, Nathalia, Cobram and Yarrawonga last week.
Mr Pawar said residents in the shire’s four major towns would be slugged with a 9.55 per cent increase in rates and charges for 2014-15, as opposed to four per cent (varying between rating categories) presented in public meetings.
But Mr Pawar said the ongoing financial health of council was more concerning:
Employed for seven months and resigning late last year, Mr Pawar said: ‘‘I was there, giving report after report about this, nobody wants to listen.’’
He also claims that project grants, provided by the Victorian Government for specific purposes, were being portrayed as open revenue.
He said part of the council’s problems stemmed from overstaffing and over-reliance on external contractors.
‘‘How can the community sit back and say they have to accept increases in rates, while council are not doing anything to address their overheads in a structured manner?’’
Moira Shire Council chief executive Mark Henderson said council had recorded Mr Pawar’s email as a submission on the draft budget.
‘‘We will review it with all the other draft budget submissions and provide a response to correct his interpretation of the draft budget,’’ Mr Henderson said.
He said Mr Pawar’s analysis included some ‘‘very simple errors’’.
‘‘For example the organic waste service charge does not apply to all ratepayers — the service will only be available in the four major centres.
‘‘The project grants received but not used last year appear again in this year’s budget (for example, the Cobram Library) — they cannot and have not been used for other purposes.
‘‘There are also several technical errors, for example: charges to be collected includes provision for supplemental revaluations.
‘‘Materials and consumables are not solely driven by capital works — for example we have grant funding to purchase bins and caddies for the organic waste service and spend considerable funds on road maintenance materials.
‘‘Council’s proposed budget will move council into a much stronger financial position against all VAGO financial indicators including liquidity and enable us to deliver unqualified audit reports each year.
‘‘We acknowledge that the shire has to closely monitor its cash flow and over time will need to move to an operating surplus.’’
The Country Fire Authority attended a Goulburn Valley Hwy furniture shop early this morning.
The Tungamah Football Netball Club has completed a fairytale season to clinch the Picola and District Football Netball League South East Premiership with an emphatic 106 point win over the Katamatite Tigers at Tungamah.
Billed as ‘Fabulous Flowers and Fine Food’, Tatura’s Anglican Church Parish had a successful fundraiser on Thursday, September 4.
Moama Bowling Club's Michael Walker has been chosen for the 2014 Australian Premier League team.
David and Katrina Christie’s Nanneella dairy farm is now home to one of the biggest sheds in the district, a 160m by 37m monster.
Don’t write Ky off yet, says coach ahead of preliminary final
Seymour event packs out St Mary's College on Saturday night.
Star Tocumwal defender took her club's A grade best and fairest award last weekend, adding to her 2014 PDNL medal.
Mia Mia Cricket Club is about to field its first cricket team since 2001
Cobram Mens Shed chips away at the issue of mental health but calls for more space.
Breakout seasons from Deni Rovers Jamie Thorpe and Nick Hay have seen the pair rewarded with respective best and fairest titles.
Now the Murray-Darling Basin Plan is enshrined in law, many opponents of the controversial plan to return irrigation water to the environment appear to have lost interest.
More than 320 000 foxes and 1500 wild dogs had been eradicated under the bounty scheme in the past three years.
- Motorcycle ride raises money for cancer charity
- Leukaemia patients come together to support Light the Night Benalla
- Permit sought for a clay target shooting range at a disused quarry at Baddaginnie
- Acclaimed pastry chef returns to Benalla
- Benalla resident on journey to help others with mental illness
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.