Sunday, June 6, 2010

Does it pay to belong?

LAST week we met as a council to consider the first draft of the budget for the next financial year. Following the recent decision of the Glenorchy City Council to withdraw from the Local Government Association of Tasmania, I was keen to learn the cost of our membership of the association - which turns out to be more than $28,000. On top of that, our council pays just over $18,000 to be part of the Southern Tasmanian Councils Authority. Ending the Derwent Valley Council's membership of these bodies may seem extreme, but it would cut 1% from our annual rates bill.

General manager Stephen Mackey advised that the council must give a year's notice if it decides to withdraw from the LGAT. This has been considered before, at the request of Cr Judy Bromfield, but did not proceed. It is time to consider the costs and benefits of remaining in the LGAT. At the same time, the association should consider whether the allowances paid to its office bearers and members are a little generous.

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