COUNCILS don’t come cheap. In fact most south-west municipalities are paying about $1 million for their elected leaders and corporate advisers.
A glimpse of draft budgets for the region’s six councils shows their official governance costs go as high as $1.4 million, although accurate comparisons are difficult because of differing ways of listing budget expenditure.
Most of the support departments cost at least $900,000, including senior executives and communications departments.
Warrnambool City Council lists $603,000 for supporting its elected council and $778,000 for its executive services, which also includes media and marketing.
The $1.38m total for the two budgeted sections compares closely with Moyne Shire Council’s $1.36m for corporate governance.
Moyne lists one cumulative total including councillor allowances, expenses, training, professional development and membership, administration of council meetings and workshops, supervision of meetings and strategic planning.
Moyne Shire Council also has $66,226 for its communications needs.
Corangamite Shire Council lists $980,600 for governance, including the chief executive and support staff and marketing, but makes no specific reference to payments to councillors and their expenses.
It also lists $1.26m for community relations, media, marketing and communications services which is the most any of the south-west councils have listed for communications.
Colac Otway Shire Council lists $467,527 for councillors and support services, $464,833 for the chief executive’s office and $139,760 for public relations and marketing.
Southern Grampians Shire Council lists $344,000 for councillors and support, $335,000 for the chief executive’s office, $250,000 for the services directorate and $136,000 for communications.
Glenelg Shire Council lists $528,818 for councillors, their expenses and a council support co-ordinator plus $669,079 for corporate governance support and $138,505 for communications. On top of that, its chief executive’s office and senior management team has been budgeted at $1.36m.