STOP Monash Council’s CASH GRAB – today last day for budget submission

If you have made a submission to Monash Council re the Draft Budget:

We invite you to add it to this post using ‘leave a comment’ above or to email it to EMonashU@gmail.com for us to publish on this site.

If you have not yet made a submission to Monash Council re the Draft Budget you need to do so TODAY (30 May).

You may use the submissions below as examples.

Be at Council on 10 June 7.30 pm to support people presenting their submissions.

Example 1: My submission

To: Monash Council Attention: Dr Andi Diamond
Re: Submission re Draft Budget 2014 – 2015

Firstly I would like Council to note I support:

  • the case put forward by Cr Robert Davies that a rate rise at a time the Council is ‘cashed up’ is not necessary. He has stated a 3% rise in rates will allow services and investments to continue but the Council’s profit will decrease to $m5

Further:

I have seen no evidence that the Council has considered the welfare of its constituents.

In preparing this budget the Council needs to consider such factors as:

  • the effect on Monash constituents of the spate of redundancies over the last two years e.g. University of Melbourne, Channel 10 and more.
  • the difficulties faced by Monash’s ageing population trying to re-enter the workforce
  • young adults, including university graduates, who cannot find a career position, or even work of any kind
  • The severe impact of the federal budget, should it proceed, on this community e.g. doctors’ fees, reduced benefits, cuts in services and more
  • other economic impacts on the welfare of the community

In short the Council should look more closely at the community’s ability to pay. That a 6% rise was planned a few years back is far less relevant. In fact good management is to evaluate and review plans not stick them in place like bricks and mortar.

Monash has suffered in hard economic cycles before. At times the media has featured reports of increased requirements for food parcels and other supplies to help families in the mortgage belt. Is this how you want Monash families to live? Is this how you want to welcome migrants to Monash?

Yes, it is great to have modern buildings and facilities for the community to use but may I caution you on the following:
Buildings and facilities are not the fabric of a healthy and well functioning community
The community does not want Council sitting on bags of money – their money. They expect a more break- even scenario
Great facilities are only worthwhile when they are affordable and if you need to raise rates above the CPI they are not affordable.
I sincerely hope future rate capping by the State Government will stop Councils living beyond the Community’s means, as Monash is currently planning to do.

I urge Council to involve Community members much earlier in the budget planning process. Handing out a practically finished product and then ticking the boxes on community feedback is not genuine consultation. Stop sitting back and waiting for the community to come to you – get out there and find the community to communicate on their ground in their frames of reference. Use the IAP2 spectrum at the highest levels and you will discover a whole new world of community engagement.

I would like to reserve my right under the Local Government Act to speak to this submission on 10 June.

Example 2: Murray’s submission

I note that Council has expressed concern about the impact of reductions in the FAGs this year. It was stated at the May Ordinary Council Meeting that this will cost Monash approximately $120k.
I note that Council’s Draft Sustainable Transport Plan (Part 2, Appendix 1) show the Euneva Ave car park has, at peak occupancy, approximately 250 vacant parking spaces.
I note that Council has been repeatedly lobbied to allow commuters access to the Euneva Ave car park and those lobbying have indicated a willingness to pay for the privilege.

At a rate of $5/day, Council could earn $1300pa on each parking permit issued for commuter parking in Euneva Ave car park. At this rate, even keeping a reserve of 60% of the currently unutilised parking spaces, council has the capacity to cover the FAG losses and generate a positive return on the investment made.

This proposal has been rejected on the grounds that the car park utilisation will rise. There’s no reason to expect a 150% increase in utilisation this financial year. At the end of the 2014/15 financial year the FAGs position may have changed and the situation can be reviewed. If there is no utilisation pressure, the revenue stream can continue and can assist in providing downward pressures on rates to keep the average rate even lower than all other councils in Victoria. By the time utilisation patterns change the state government has promised to build multi-deck parking at Syndal and the commuters can be redirected there.

This is a win for all concerned: commuters get temporary parking pending construction at Syndal, ratepayers get a return on their investment and a possible reduction in rate increases and council offsets losses in FAGs while still advocating for their restoration.

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