Robert Doyle and Council vote on proposed budget increase in fees and rates

Robert Doyle in summing up the presentation of the City of Melbourne 2013-14 budget had a dig at Collins Street Traders by saying…

“Council is actually here [Council Meeting held on Thursday May 9] on both items [4 yr Plan and Council Budget] giving approval for public notice rather than giving approval or substantive debate of content because this is a work in progress we now send this process out for further comment form the public”

“We are starting to get comment already… I remind Councillors that those very people who criticise elements of the budget, like a small rise in parking fees of a dollar fifty, are the very people who at other times of the year are exhorting us to spend more on Christmas decorations, more on cleaning the City and beatifying streets, such as in Collins Street and that is one of the things for me [Robert Doyle] difficult to understand.”

“The amount we are raising, and I will ask the public to think about that, though the increases in parking and increases in rates equates to about 14 Million dollars. I often say to people in consultation period what would you cut out.”
..
“that adds up to our entire Arts and Cultural budget. We could do none of that if you like but I do not think that will be the right answer. “
.. 
It is a work in progress but I like to think pretty much of our work is done. I can not see us after consultation going back to first principles”


Councillor Stephen Mayne (In closing)

“It is open to councillors and everyone else to suggest changes or updates to the budget, for instance the 149 births at docklands where we mention zero rent … where many were packaged up with apartments by VicUrban”… “from 2025 we will be able to extract rent fro those births”.. :It is all about providing information in its correct context.”
..
“It is up to everyone to make submissions and suggestions.”

 
SUBMISSIONS CLOSE JUNE 7

The Melbourne City Council audio recording of the meeting has been edited and a section of deleted removing comments made by Lord Mayor Robert Doyle just prior to the taking of the vote and the closing of the meeting. (Listen from the end of Stephen Mayne’s Speech 1 min before recording end)

Have your say

Submissions are welcome on the draft Annual Plan and Budget 2013-14. 

The detail of what we will do and how we will fund our activities is agreed each year in the Annual Plan and Budget.

The draft Annual Plan and Budget 2013-14 is now out for statutory consultation.

Council’s Future Melbourne Committee will consider any written submission received on or before Friday 7 June 2013, at a meeting to be held on Tuesday 18 June 2013 at 5.30pm in the Council Meeting Room, level two, Melbourne Town Hall, Swanston Street, Melbourne.

If a person wishes to be heard in support of their submission they must include the request to be heard in the submission and this will entitle them to appear in person or by a person acting on their behalf before the meeting of the Committee.

The postal address for written submissions is:

Manager Governance Services
City of Melbourne
GPO Box 1603
Melbourne VIC 3001

Robert Doyle and Council vote on proposed budget increase in fees and rates

Robert Doyle in summing up the presentation of the City of Melbourne 2013-14 budget had a dig at Collins Street Traders by saying…

“Council is actually here [Council Meeting held on Thursday May 9] on both items [4 yr Plan and Council Budget] giving approval for public notice rather than giving approval or substantive debate of content because this is a work in progress we now send this process out for further comment from the public”

“We are starting to get comment already… I remind Councillors that those very people who criticise elements of the budget, like a small rise in parking fees of a dollar fifty, are the very people who at other times of the year are exhorting us to spend more on Christmas decorations, more on cleaning the City and beatifying streets, such as in Collins Street and that is one of the things for me [Robert Doyle] difficult to understand.”

“The amount we are raising, and I will ask the public to think about that, through the increases in parking and increases in rates equates to about 14 Million dollars. I often say to people in the consultation period what would you cut out.”
..
“That adds up to our entire Arts and Cultural budget. We could do none of that, if you like, but I do not think that will be the right answer. “
.. 
It is a work in progress but I like to think pretty much of our work is done. I can not see us after consultation going back to first principles”


Councillor Stephen Mayne (In closing)

“It is open to councillors and everyone else to suggest changes or updates to the budget, for instance the 149 births at docklands where we mention zero rent … where many were packaged up with apartments by VicUrban”… “from 2025 we will be able to extract rent for those births”.. :”It is all about providing information in its correct context.”
..
“It is up to everyone to make submissions and suggestions.”

 
SUBMISSIONS CLOSE JUNE 7

The Melbourne City Council audio recording of the meeting has been edited and a section deleted removing comments made by Lord Mayor Robert Doyle just prior to the taking of the vote and the closing of the meeting. (Listen from the end of Stephen Mayne’s Speech 1 min before recording end)

Have your say

Submissions are welcome on the draft Annual Plan and Budget 2013-14. 

The detail of what we will do and how we will fund our activities is agreed each year in the Annual Plan and Budget.

The draft Annual Plan and Budget 2013-14 is now out for statutory consultation.

Council’s Future Melbourne Committee will consider any written submission received on or before Friday 7 June 2013, at a meeting to be held on Tuesday 18 June 2013 at 5.30pm in the Council Meeting Room, level two, Melbourne Town Hall, Swanston Street, Melbourne.

If a person wishes to be heard in support of their submission they must include the request to be heard in the submission and this will entitle them to appear in person or by a person acting on their behalf before the meeting of the Committee.

The postal address for written submissions is:

Manager Governance Services
City of Melbourne
GPO Box 1603
Melbourne VIC 3001

Robert Doyle: What would you remove from the budget?

Melbourne’s Lord Mayor, Robert Doyle, at last night’s Special Council meeting, asked “what would you remove from the Council’s budget to save money?”

Listen here (15min)

I would scrape the Lord Mayor’s Limo (Something Robert said he would do but hasn’t)

They could also scrape Lord Mayor’s Free Booze Bar, Free Councillor Car Parking and Staff Overseas Junkets.
 
“There is a $10.5 million shortfall in parking revenue basically caused by compliance, people are following the rules so our projected fines did not reach what we thought we were going to get,” Robert Doyle

Junkets Away: Most Travelled 2008-2012

The Melbourne City Council – High Cost Travellers
(Above $10,000)
Dec-2008 to December 2012

Total amount spent:

 $      1,200,714.00
Interstate and Overseas Travel
Name Cost
Kathy Alexander $83,671.25
Jane Sharwood S66,423.46
Robert Doyle $55,254.80
Peter Clarke $50,736.55
Alister Paterson $39,768.80
Susan Riley $27,084.08
Brian Shanahan $25,010.37
Scott Chapman $24,836.87
Amelia Bitsis $23,271.23
Kevin Louey $22,715.35
David Campbell $21,683.73
Geoff Robinson $21,167.06
Martin Cutter $20,903.21
Fran Kerlin $20,872.83
Barry McGuren $19,730.73
Simon Spain $18,031.48
Rob Adams $16,229.47
Cathy Oke $15,917.67
Janey Chu $15,540.04
Geoff Lawler $14,641.91
Krista Milne $12,891.08
Ken Ong $12,829.19
Rob Moore $12,820.80
Ralf Pfleiderer $12,113.28
Janina Harding $11,685.78
Alex Fearnside $10,963.06
Ian Winter $10,800.52
Shane McIllory $10,300.73
Michelle Isles $10,153.39

Individual Trips costing over $10,000
Name Cost From To
Kathy Alexander $32,199.83 07-Jun-12 19-Jun-12
Scott Chapman $24,181.87 20-Mar-09 04-Apr-09
Peter Clarke $20,566.58 10-Oct-09 17-Oct-09
Peter Clarke $18,159.67 28-Sep-10 07-Oct-10
Fran Kerlin $17,994.00 19-Jul-12 03-Aug-12
Robert Doyle $17,264.62 12-Dec-09 22-Dec-09
Amelia Bitsis $16,076.79 12-Dec-09 22-Dec-09
Janey Chu $15,540.04 13-Oct-10 23-Oct-10
Alister Paterson $14,167.41 12-Dec-09 22-Dec-09
Barry McGuren $14,127.15 23-Jul-12 29-Jul-12
Geoff Robinson $13,097.13 15-Mar-10 25-Mar-10
Brian Shanahan $12,676.53 12-Dec-10 18-Dec-10
Rob Moore $12,496.50 04-Apr-11 10-Apr-11
Jane Sharwood $12,254.89 11-Dec-10 18-Dec-10
Peter Clarke $11,431.66 05-Apr-11 09-Apr-11
Kevin Louey $11,313.63 17-Oct-10 27-Oct-10
Kathy Alexander $11,225.83 17-Oct-10 26-Oct-10
Susan Riley $11,157.38 17-Oct-10 26-Oct-10
Martin Cutter $11,134.51 13-Aug-11 20-Aug-11
Robert Doyle $10,782.34 08-Oct-11 14-Oct-11
Jane Sharwood $10,642.64 17-Oct-10 23-Oct-10
Jane Sharwood $10,519.00 19-Feb-12 27-Feb-12
Geoff Lawler $10,425.00 14-Nov-09 22-Nov-09
Alex Fearnside $10,092.49 12-Jun-09 26-Jun-09
Ralf Pfleiderer $10,000.00 07-May-12 29-May-12

 * Note: The City of Melbourne titles or departments as such we can not produce a High Cost Travelled Departments.  The Council goes out of its way to avoid disclosure and accountability 

Junkets Away: Councillors Overseas Travel

Five months late the City of Melbourne has finally published it’s Overseas and Interstate Travel costs for the term of the previous Council (Dec-2008 to Nov-2012)

Topping the bill of the most travelled Councillors is the Lord Mayor Robert Doyle

Interstate and Overseas Travel – Total
Councillor Cost
Robert Doyle $55,254.80
Peter Clarke $50,736.55
Susan Riley $27,084.08
Brian Shanahan $25,010.37
Kevin Louey $22,715.35
Cathy Oke $15,917.67
Ken Ong $12,829.19
Carl Jetter $3,956.08
Rob Adams $2,670.60
Jennifer Kanis $40.27

Lord Mayor 0.5 Piss up at ratepayers expense

Robert Doyle has been on the boozer racking up over $10,000 in plying his mates and associates with free alcohol (top shelf booze) to lubricate the discussions and Town hall deals. Any excuse for a party at no cost. of course Council CEO Kathy Alexander tries to justify the Free booze policy because a drunk Councillor is unlikely to pay detailed attention to what gos on behind the closed doors of Town Hall. after all if they all have their snouts in the tough they can not complain about others doing likewise. Doyle joins a host of ex-pollies that have suffered the “bit to much drink whilst on the job”. Most notable being former disgraced Democrats Senate leader Andrew Bartlett who would turn up in the Senate chamber pissed as a newt abusing his fellow Senators.

Questions are being asked as to the Council’s responsibility and right to supply alcohol to staff and guests. It certainly does not come under the umbrella of out of pocket expenses unless they mean “output of your pocket and into theirs” expenses.

The City Council is also liable for any accidents that might arise from staff who seek to over indulge in Christmas cheer sipping on free alcoholic drinks. Occupational Health and Safety might frown on such activities should a member of staff be injured or worst still injure someone else on the way home. Victoria Police are well advised to set up a booze bus near the Council car park exit

The free drinks LM booze bar should be closed down and if the Councillors and staff want a drink then they should visit a licensed bar outside of the Council and pay for their own drinks and not expect ratepayer’s to pick up the tab.

The Sunday Herald Sun

LORD Mayor Robert Doyle has racked up a private bar bill of almost $10,000 in a single year.

Documents obtained through Freedom of Information reveal councillors and council staff spent $209,816 on food and alcohol in the 12 months to March this year.

The council’s total alcohol bill was more than $44,245.

The cost of restocking the private bar in the Lord Mayor’s office with beer, wine and spirits was $9652.66.

It included $1142 spent in March last year, $1163 last June and in October included six bottles of Bendigo shiraz at a cost of $144.

More ratepayer funds were used to buy a steady supply of chips and nuts for the office.

Councillors also have their own “refreshment room” where drinks are available free of charge.

Mr Doyle, who belted out a rousing rendition of Vanilla Ice rap track Ice Ice Baby at the council’s Christmas party last week, defended the spending.

“The Lord Mayor’s office hosts many civic functions for stakeholders, community groups, visitors and dignitaries as part of our official duties,” he said.

“It is reasonable to provide food and beverage at these functions.”

It seems Christmas cheer does not come cheap at the council either.

More than $20,000 was spent on a yuletide bash for staff last year.

Ratepayers also funded $625 for cocktails and $244.70 for drinks at an annual report “celebration”.

More than $1300 was spent on food and drinks for a staff farewell.

And more than $2060 was spent on a dinner with Adelaide councillors.

Council chief Kathy Alexander recognised the council was funded by public money but also defended the food and alcohol spending spree.

“Councillors and administrative staff can incur reasonable expenses in the course of their work and are accountable for this spend within the annual budget,” she said.

“The stock in the councillors’ and directors’ refreshment room is used for visiting dignitaries or meetings with relevant stakeholders.

“Councillors and senior administration staff regularly host meetings in their offices of both a formal and informal nature – and food and drink is sometimes served in these meetings.”

Lord Mayor 0.5 Piss up at ratepayers expense

Robert Doyle has been on the boozer racking up over $10,000 in plying his mates and associates with free alcohol (top shelf booze) to lubricate the discussions and Town hall deals. Any excuse for a party at no cost. of course Council CEO Kathy Alexander tries to justify the Free booze policy because a drunk Councillor is unlikely to pay detailed attention to what gos on behind the closed doors of Town Hall. after all if they all have their snouts in the tough they can not complain about others doing likewise. Doyle joins a host of ex-pollies that have suffered the “bit to much drink whilst on the job”. Most notable being former disgraced Democrats Senate leader Andrew Bartlett who would turn up in the Senate chamber pissed as a newt abusing his fellow Senators.

Questions are being asked as to the Council’s responsibility and right to supply alcohol to staff and guests. It certainly does not come under the umbrella of out of pocket expenses unless they mean “output of your pocket and into theirs” expenses.

The City Council is also liable for any accidents that might arise from staff who seek to over indulge in Christmas cheer sipping on free alcoholic drinks. Occupational Health and Safety might frown on such activities should a member of staff be injured or worst still injure someone else on the way home. Victoria Police are well advised to set up a booze bus near the Council car park exit

The free drinks LM booze bar should be closed down and if the Councillors and staff want a drink then they should visit a licensed bar outside of the Council and pay for their own drinks and not expect ratepayer’s to pick up the tab.

The Sunday Herald Sun

LORD Mayor Robert Doyle has racked up a private bar bill of almost $10,000 in a single year.

Documents obtained through Freedom of Information reveal councillors and council staff spent $209,816 on food and alcohol in the 12 months to March this year.

The council’s total alcohol bill was more than $44,245.

The cost of restocking the private bar in the Lord Mayor’s office with beer, wine and spirits was $9652.66.

It included $1142 spent in March last year, $1163 last June and in October included six bottles of Bendigo shiraz at a cost of $144.

More ratepayer funds were used to buy a steady supply of chips and nuts for the office.

Councillors also have their own “refreshment room” where drinks are available free of charge.

Mr Doyle, who belted out a rousing rendition of Vanilla Ice rap track Ice Ice Baby at the council’s Christmas party last week, defended the spending.

“The Lord Mayor’s office hosts many civic functions for stakeholders, community groups, visitors and dignitaries as part of our official duties,” he said.

“It is reasonable to provide food and beverage at these functions.”

It seems Christmas cheer does not come cheap at the council either.

More than $20,000 was spent on a yuletide bash for staff last year.

Ratepayers also funded $625 for cocktails and $244.70 for drinks at an annual report “celebration”.

More than $1300 was spent on food and drinks for a staff farewell.

And more than $2060 was spent on a dinner with Adelaide councillors.

Council chief Kathy Alexander recognised the council was funded by public money but also defended the food and alcohol spending spree.

“Councillors and administrative staff can incur reasonable expenses in the course of their work and are accountable for this spend within the annual budget,” she said.

“The stock in the councillors’ and directors’ refreshment room is used for visiting dignitaries or meetings with relevant stakeholders.

“Councillors and senior administration staff regularly host meetings in their offices of both a formal and informal nature – and food and drink is sometimes served in these meetings.”

Lord Mayor 0.5 Piss up at ratepayers expense

Robert Doyle has been on the boozer racking up over $10,000 in plying his mates and associates with free alcohol (top shelf booze) to lubricate the discussions and Town hall deals. Any excuse for a party at no cost. of course Council CEO Kathy Alexander tries to justify the Free booze policy because a drunk Councillor is unlikely to pay detailed attention to what gos on behind the closed doors of Town Hall. after all if they all have their snouts in the tough they can not complain about others doing likewise. Doyle joins a host of ex-pollies that have suffered the “bit to much drink whilst on the job”. Most notable being former disgraced Democrats Senate leader Andrew Bartlett who would turn up in the Senate chamber pissed as a newt abusing his fellow Senators.

Questions are being asked as to the Council’s responsibility and right to supply alcohol to staff and guests. It certainly does not come under the umbrella of out of pocket expenses unless they mean “output of your pocket and into theirs” expenses.

The City Council is also liable for any accidents that might arise from staff who seek to over indulge in Christmas cheer sipping on free alcoholic drinks. Occupational Health and Safety might frown on such activities should a member of staff be injured or worst still injure someone else on the way home. Victoria Police are well advised to set up a booze bus near the Council car park exit

The free drinks LM booze bar should be closed down and if the Councillors and staff want a drink then they should visit a licensed bar outside of the Council and pay for their own drinks and not expect ratepayer’s to pick up the tab.

The Sunday Herald Sun

LORD Mayor Robert Doyle has racked up a private bar bill of almost $10,000 in a single year.

Documents obtained through Freedom of Information reveal councillors and council staff spent $209,816 on food and alcohol in the 12 months to March this year.

The council’s total alcohol bill was more than $44,245.

The cost of restocking the private bar in the Lord Mayor’s office with beer, wine and spirits was $9652.66.

It included $1142 spent in March last year, $1163 last June and in October included six bottles of Bendigo shiraz at a cost of $144.

More ratepayer funds were used to buy a steady supply of chips and nuts for the office.

Councillors also have their own “refreshment room” where drinks are available free of charge.

Mr Doyle, who belted out a rousing rendition of Vanilla Ice rap track Ice Ice Baby at the council’s Christmas party last week, defended the spending.

“The Lord Mayor’s office hosts many civic functions for stakeholders, community groups, visitors and dignitaries as part of our official duties,” he said.

“It is reasonable to provide food and beverage at these functions.”

It seems Christmas cheer does not come cheap at the council either.

More than $20,000 was spent on a yuletide bash for staff last year.

Ratepayers also funded $625 for cocktails and $244.70 for drinks at an annual report “celebration”.

More than $1300 was spent on food and drinks for a staff farewell.

And more than $2060 was spent on a dinner with Adelaide councillors.

Council chief Kathy Alexander recognised the council was funded by public money but also defended the food and alcohol spending spree.

“Councillors and administrative staff can incur reasonable expenses in the course of their work and are accountable for this spend within the annual budget,” she said.

“The stock in the councillors’ and directors’ refreshment room is used for visiting dignitaries or meetings with relevant stakeholders.

“Councillors and senior administration staff regularly host meetings in their offices of both a formal and informal nature – and food and drink is sometimes served in these meetings.”

Doyle denies smoking causes Cancer

Calls for Doyle to resign!

LORD Mayor Robert Doyle has caused a storm by suggesting there is no evidence passive smoking causes lung cancer.

Source: The Age

Cr Doyle, who is also chairman of Melbourne Health, told 774 ABC Radio: ”I don’t know of a case of cancer that has been caused by passive smoking.”

When told there has been, he said: ”Have there? Really? I don’t know of one. I am happy to be corrected.”

The lord mayor was discussing plans by Monash City Council to consult residents about the possibility of banning smoking at outdoor cafes and sporting events. He said there had been no discussion at Melbourne City Council to extend smoking bans.

Mike Daube, professor of health policy at Curtin University and president of the Australian Council on Smoking and Health, said: ”There is very clear evidence on passive smoking and lung cancer. The lord mayor should be ashamed of himself for making a comment like that. It sounds to me very ill-informed and irresponsible.”

Mr Daube said Cr Doyle was behind the times, with jurisdictions throughout Australia – including Western Australia – introducing laws to curb smoking at outdoor cafes.

”It is the sort of comment you used to get in the 1970s and ’80s.”

The chairman of lung service at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Associate Professor David Ball, said no one knows the point at which tobacco smoke becomes safe.

Professor Ball, who has worked at Peter MacCallum for more than 30 years, said: ”The most sensible advice I would give to people is to avoid tobacco smoke altogether.

”We know that about 10 per cent of people who are lung cancer sufferers have never smoked, so the cause of their cancer is unclear and it would not be unreasonable to conclude that some of those people may have caught it from the cancer-producing substance in tobacco smoke that they may have been exposed to, either through their contact with relatives or close family members.”

Professor Ball supported banning smoking in outdoor dining areas.

”We think any strategy that reduces tobacco smoking is a good thing. Tobacco smoking is the biggest reversible cause of illness and cancer death in our society.”

Quit Victoria executive director Fiona Sharkie said: ”Exposure to second-hand smoke is a cause of cancer.”

She said the evidence was ”incredibly well documented”.

”Given that Robert Doyle is the chair of Melbourne Health, which includes the Royal Melbourne Hospital, he has probably got many doctors there he could check it with,” she said.

Doyle denies smoking causes Cancer

Calls for Doyle to resign!

LORD Mayor Robert Doyle has caused a storm by suggesting there is no evidence passive smoking causes lung cancer.

Source: The Age

Cr Doyle, who is also chairman of Melbourne Health, told 774 ABC Radio: ”I don’t know of a case of cancer that has been caused by passive smoking.”

When told there has been, he said: ”Have there? Really? I don’t know of one. I am happy to be corrected.”

The lord mayor was discussing plans by Monash City Council to consult residents about the possibility of banning smoking at outdoor cafes and sporting events. He said there had been no discussion at Melbourne City Council to extend smoking bans.

Mike Daube, professor of health policy at Curtin University and president of the Australian Council on Smoking and Health, said: ”There is very clear evidence on passive smoking and lung cancer. The lord mayor should be ashamed of himself for making a comment like that. It sounds to me very ill-informed and irresponsible.”

Mr Daube said Cr Doyle was behind the times, with jurisdictions throughout Australia – including Western Australia – introducing laws to curb smoking at outdoor cafes.

”It is the sort of comment you used to get in the 1970s and ’80s.”

The chairman of lung service at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Associate Professor David Ball, said no one knows the point at which tobacco smoke becomes safe.

Professor Ball, who has worked at Peter MacCallum for more than 30 years, said: ”The most sensible advice I would give to people is to avoid tobacco smoke altogether.

”We know that about 10 per cent of people who are lung cancer sufferers have never smoked, so the cause of their cancer is unclear and it would not be unreasonable to conclude that some of those people may have caught it from the cancer-producing substance in tobacco smoke that they may have been exposed to, either through their contact with relatives or close family members.”

Professor Ball supported banning smoking in outdoor dining areas.

”We think any strategy that reduces tobacco smoking is a good thing. Tobacco smoking is the biggest reversible cause of illness and cancer death in our society.”

Quit Victoria executive director Fiona Sharkie said: ”Exposure to second-hand smoke is a cause of cancer.”

She said the evidence was ”incredibly well documented”.

”Given that Robert Doyle is the chair of Melbourne Health, which includes the Royal Melbourne Hospital, he has probably got many doctors there he could check it with,” she said.