Alcohol use after council meetings was thrust into the spotlight this week when Warrnambool was quizzed about its practices.
Responding to a question from a member of the public at Monday's meeting, chief executive officer Peter Schneider said that like most councils in Australia,it supplied alcohol and a meal for staff and councillors after their public meetings.
His answer drew a response from the audience: "so ratepayers pay for it".
The council said it spent about $45 a month on alcohol after council meetings, and its total alcohol bill each year would include things such as stocking the Lighthouse Theatre and the inn at Flagstaff Hill.
It said that because much of the work done by councillors was done after hours, and in addition to full or part-time employment, it was reasonable to provide a meal - with the option of a glass or two of wine - at a time when councillors might normally be having a similar meal at home.
Cr Robert Anderson said while he "enjoyed a drink as much as anyone" he chose not to drink at council functions or when he was representing the council at other events.
However, he said there was very little alcohol consumed after the council meeting. "It's never excessive," he said.
Cr Peter Hulin said he was no longer going to attend dinners after the public meetings.
"I just think we're so on the nose with what we're spending, I'm no longer going to go," he said.
Corangamite Shire chief executive officer Andrew Mason said council funds were not used to purchase alcohol after its monthly council meetings.
"Any alcohol that may be consumed after meetings is bought at the councillor or officer's own expense," Mr Mason said.
"Council may supply alcohol at other events, such as occasional civic receptions or other rare events. These happen on average less than once a year.
"Council also has a staff Christmas function at which limited alcohol is served.
"The total cost of all these events is, on average, less than $4000 a year."
Moyne Shire chief executive officer Bill Millard said the council had spent about $4000 on alcohol on council events in the past 12 months, including $375 on drinks for after council meetings.
"Council provides alcoholic beverages at a limited number of civic and staff events, as well as after monthly council meetings where the community and visitors are welcomed to stay and talk to councillors," he said.
Moyne councillor Jim Doukas said it was general knowledge there was alcohol after the monthly council meetings but that practice was now under review.
He said at a guess they might average one or two stubbies per person after the meeting.
"The only time we have a couple of drinks is after a council meeting," he said.
Cr Doukas said councillors would make a final decision in the next month on whether it was appropriate to have alcohol after meetings.
"I can honestly say that if anyone has concerns about alcohol in the Moyne Shire after meetings they shouldn't be because it's very moderate," he said.
He said most of the councillors had to travel a long distance to get home after the meetings.
"Nobody wants to get caught 0.05," he said.
"I don't think anyone would begrudge someone having a beer after the meeting. All things in moderation.
"Having a couple of stubbies I don't think will hurt, but if you spend hours after the meeting wining and dining yourself well that's not appropriate. That's not what we're there for."
Glenelg mayor Anita Rank said the shire infrequently provided alcohol to councillors and staff, predominantly at council celebratory events, such as the business and tourism awards, and on occasion, post council meetings.
"The council's preference is to limit the serving of alcoholic beverages at council events," she said.
In a statement from the Shire of Southern Grampians, it said meals were not provided at council briefings or meetings but staff and councillors could have a glass of alcohol or soft drink at the conclusion of the monthly meeting.
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