Sustaining Dinners City of Melbourne asked to fund migrating dinner at $45,000

Geoff Lawler, City of Melbourne Sustainability (sic) Director, is proposing that the City of Melbourne spend $45,000 on a dinner for up to 500 Migration conference delegates, to be held in October 2007,and if that is too steep then an alternative proposal suggest the Council spend $18,000 for a piss-up cocktail drinks night.

There is no wonder the City of Melbourne does not want to publish the costs of its internal catering bill. The conference according to Joe Groher, Manager Financial Services, will be funded via normal budget processes. (Which 2007/8 budget Item in would that be Joe?)

The conference is consistent with Council’s policy aims expressed in City Plan 2010 for the
City of Melbourne to be an inclusive, engaging, innovative and connected city and society. (I guess just about any event would be deemed consistent the aims of City Plan 2010)

The cost of any piss-up or state dinner should be paid for by the Event organisers or if it is considered necessary by the State or Federal Government who are also sponsoring this event.

Mind you the City of Melbourne appears not taken into consideration that some of the delegates may be from Islamic Countries or other cultures that don’t drink alcohol.

The City of Melbourne if anything should put on a BBQ sizzle/Meat-pie spread and something light for vegetarians (budget $2-3,000) and stop wasting ratepayers money picking up the tab for every circus or event that comes to town. (The cost to the environment for this event approx 5,000 trees worth of Co2 emissions).

The $45,000 proposed expenditure could be better spent on more sustainable events and needs.

UPDATE:

Pigs with snouts in the trough. Ratepayers money to burn

Melbourne City Council without debate appoved $45,000 direct subsidy for a conference dinner. This sets a precidnets wheer every circus that comes to town and every event ofanisier can excpect Coucnil to fork out up to $90 a head for a free meal. We will have great insterest in reminding the community of theextent of Council’s generousity when it comes to requests for assistance and subsidies.

Up until now Cr Clarke had a reasonable record of spending Council’s funds wisely. Shame Council Shame.

5.4. International Metropolis Conference, Melbourne, 8-12 October 2007

The purpose of this report was to recommend that Council agree to sponsor a dinner reception for delegates to the International Metropolis 2007 Conference, to be held in Melbourne from 8-12 October 2007.

Resolved:

That the Community and Culture Committee recommend to Council that it resolve to sponsor a dinner reception for delegates to the International Metropolis 2007 Conference, to be held in Melbourne from 8-12 October 2007.

Moved: Cr Clarke
Seconded: Deputy Lord Mayor, Gary Singer
Carried unanimously

Free Booze, Food and no expense City Council refuses to disclose cost of Council’s wining and dining at ratepayers’ expense

Melbourne City Council on Tuesday, February 7, failed to consider a report calling on the City council to provide a financial breakdown of departmental costs for in-house catering (food, beverages and free alcohol) which is believed to cost ratepayers’ around one million dollars.

City of Melbourne private club – free food and booze paid for by the ratepayer. No acountability required.

The City of Melbourne provides Councillor’s and Senior Staff with a fully-stocked top shelf bar, free snacks and regular 3 course meals. Whilst some Councillors regular report on the poor quality and standard of food served by the City Council’s caterers the costs for this service are not cheap but remain hidden.

Censorship and ongoing avoidance of disclosure

The City Council is so keen to protect their fringe benefits that they refused to consider or even make copies of the report available for public scrutiny. The report was listed for consideration on Tuesday’s Finance and Corporate Performance (sic) meeting, chaired by Labor Councilor Brian Shanahan. The report called on the City Council to publish a break down of the financial cost of in-house catering and the provision of alcohol as well as the costs asscoiated with the Lord Maypr and Deputy Lord Mayor’s Council funded Limousine.

Ignorance is bliss

In previous years this information was readily available and published in the monthly financial statements. The Council no longer provides this information. It is understood that not even the elected Council are aware of the full extent of costs of in-house catering and the cost of the Limousines.

The City of Melbourne maintain a multimillion dollar accounting system and we understand that a break-down of in-house catering and transport cost is readily available but the Council continue to go to extraordinary levels to prevent this information being made public. WHY? Councillors are unaware of the full extent of costs. (One Councilor was reported as saying they were not aware as to full the extent of costs associated with Council’s staff overseas and interstate travel – over $400,000 in the last 12 months – having only just found out when the Council finally published its Travel Register last week)

Too Drunk to Govern

The Alcohol bill alone is in the 10’s of thousands of dollars as Councillors and Senior staff help themselves to a free drink or two or more.

We fail to see why ratepayers’ should be paying for Councillors and staff drink tab. It certainly is not part of their duties. Were not saying that the Council should not host the occasional Town Hall dinner/function where alcohol is served but Council certainly should not be providing a fee bar – all you can drink service during the working day. There are questions of responsibility, liability and legalities. There are numerous regular reports of Councillors being too drunk to fulfill their duties or even drive home as a result of a day at the office.

Our City Council should stop trying to avoid accountability and inform the public of the true cost of in-house catering and Council’s alcohol expenses.

Free Booze, Food and no expense City Council refuses to disclose cost of Council’s wining and dining at ratepayers’ expense

Melbourne City Council on Tuesday, February 7, failed to consider a report calling on the City council to provide a financial breakdown of departmental costs for in-house catering (food, beverages and free alcohol) which is believed to cost ratepayers’ around one million dollars.

City of Melbourne private club – free food and booze paid for by the ratepayer. No acountability required.

The City of Melbourne provides Councillor’s and Senior Staff with a fully-stocked top shelf bar, free snacks and regular 3 course meals. Whilst some Councillors regular report on the poor quality and standard of food served by the City Council’s caterers the costs for this service are not cheap but remain hidden.

Censorship and ongoing avoidance of disclosure

The City Council is so keen to protect their fringe benefits that they refused to consider or even make copies of the report available for public scrutiny. The report was listed for consideration on Tuesday’s Finance and Corporate Performance (sic) meeting, chaired by Labor Councilor Brian Shanahan. The report called on the City Council to publish a break down of the financial cost of in-house catering and the provision of alcohol as well as the costs asscoiated with the Lord Maypr and Deputy Lord Mayor’s Council funded Limousine.

Ignorance is bliss

In previous years this information was readily available and published in the monthly financial statements. The Council no longer provides this information. It is understood that not even the elected Council are aware of the full extent of costs of in-house catering and the cost of the Limousines.

The City of Melbourne maintain a multimillion dollar accounting system and we understand that a break-down of in-house catering and transport cost is readily available but the Council continue to go to extraordinary levels to prevent this information being made public. WHY? Councillors are unaware of the full extent of costs. (One Councilor was reported as saying they were not aware as to full the extent of costs associated with Council’s staff overseas and interstate travel – over $400,000 in the last 12 months – having only just found out when the Council finally published its Travel Register last week)

Too Drunk to Govern

The Alcohol bill alone is in the 10’s of thousands of dollars as Councillors and Senior staff help themselves to a free drink or two or more.

We fail to see why ratepayers’ should be paying for Councillors and staff drink tab. It certainly is not part of their duties. Were not saying that the Council should not host the occasional Town Hall dinner/function where alcohol is served but Council certainly should not be providing a fee bar – all you can drink service during the working day. There are questions of responsibility, liability and legalities. There are numerous regular reports of Councillors being too drunk to fulfill their duties or even drive home as a result of a day at the office.

Our City Council should stop trying to avoid accountability and inform the public of the true cost of in-house catering and Council’s alcohol expenses.

Free Booze, Food and no expense City Council refuses to disclose cost of Council’s wining and dining at ratepayers’ expense

Melbourne City Council on Tuesday, February 7, failed to consider a report calling on the City council to provide a financial breakdown of departmental costs for in-house catering (food, beverages and free alcohol) which is believed to cost ratepayers’ around one million dollars.

City of Melbourne private club – free food and booze paid for by the ratepayer. No acountability required.

The City of Melbourne provides Councillor’s and Senior Staff with a fully-stocked top shelf bar, free snacks and regular 3 course meals. Whilst some Councillors regular report on the poor quality and standard of food served by the City Council’s caterers the costs for this service are not cheap but remain hidden.

Censorship and ongoing avoidance of disclosure

The City Council is so keen to protect their fringe benefits that they refused to consider or even make copies of the report available for public scrutiny. The report was listed for consideration on Tuesday’s Finance and Corporate Performance (sic) meeting, chaired by Labor Councilor Brian Shanahan. The report called on the City Council to publish a break down of the financial cost of in-house catering and the provision of alcohol as well as the costs asscoiated with the Lord Maypr and Deputy Lord Mayor’s Council funded Limousine.

Ignorance is bliss

In previous years this information was readily available and published in the monthly financial statements. The Council no longer provides this information. It is understood that not even the elected Council are aware of the full extent of costs of in-house catering and the cost of the Limousines.

The City of Melbourne maintain a multimillion dollar accounting system and we understand that a break-down of in-house catering and transport cost is readily available but the Council continue to go to extraordinary levels to prevent this information being made public. WHY? Councillors are unaware of the full extent of costs. (One Councilor was reported as saying they were not aware as to full the extent of costs associated with Council’s staff overseas and interstate travel – over $400,000 in the last 12 months – having only just found out when the Council finally published its Travel Register last week)

Too Drunk to Govern

The Alcohol bill alone is in the 10’s of thousands of dollars as Councillors and Senior staff help themselves to a free drink or two or more.

We fail to see why ratepayers’ should be paying for Councillors and staff drink tab. It certainly is not part of their duties. Were not saying that the Council should not host the occasional Town Hall dinner/function where alcohol is served but Council certainly should not be providing a fee bar – all you can drink service during the working day. There are questions of responsibility, liability and legalities. There are numerous regular reports of Councillors being too drunk to fulfill their duties or even drive home as a result of a day at the office.

Our City Council should stop trying to avoid accountability and inform the public of the true cost of in-house catering and Council’s alcohol expenses.

If you drink and drive you’re a bloody idiotIf you drink, drive and are a politician or public servant then its time to resign

Melbourne City Councillor under the spotlight

The Age newspaper has rerun a story that broke last year pertaining to Cr Fiona Sneden and allegations made against her. Cr Sneden has been charged with refusing to take a breath test which if true results in two year suspension of licence.

Link to online story (The Age 25 Jan 2006)

The details and facts of this case are sketchy, Cr Sneden claims that she was not in charge of the vehicle at the time. If this is true and she was not the driver then there is no reason why she should be required to undertake a breath test and it is possible that the police have overstep their mark.

The matter is before the courts and we don’t know the exact circumstances. We will have to wait and see what transpires.

Drink driving is a serious offence and one that can not be dismissed lightly. Our public officials, in particular, must stand up to scrutiny and meet community standards and expectations.

Former Victorian State Liberal MP Olexander clearly had breach that standard last year when he was caught well over the limit, he was reckless and stupid, and has paid the ultimate price. (If you ask me he got off lightly. )

As this is a serious offence and we will give Cr Sneden the benefit of doubt for the time being but if it proves otherwise she should reconsider her position.

The time has come for Victoria to consider a zero alcohol limit for all drivers helping drive the message home DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE.

Whilst it is unknown, by us, if Councilor Sneden was returning from a Council function at the time of the incident, the timing is right for the City Council to review its policy of supplying free alcoholic beverages at Council functions.

The supplying of alcohol at Council functions leaves the Council open to liability in the event of any associated accident. Something that Alison Lyon, Council’s legal officer failed to point out to the City Council. The cost of “Free”Alcohol is something that ratepayers should not have to pay for.

If you drink and drive you’re a bloody idiotIf you drink, drive and are a politician or public servant then its time to resign

Melbourne City Councillor under the spotlight

The Age newspaper has rerun a story that broke last year pertaining to Cr Fiona Sneden and allegations made against her. Cr Sneden has been charged with refusing to take a breath test which if true results in two year suspension of licence.

Link to online story (The Age 25 Jan 2006)

The details and facts of this case are sketchy, Cr Sneden claims that she was not in charge of the vehicle at the time. If this is true and she was not the driver then there is no reason why she should be required to undertake a breath test and it is possible that the police have overstep their mark.

The matter is before the courts and we don’t know the exact circumstances. We will have to wait and see what transpires.

Drink driving is a serious offence and one that can not be dismissed lightly. Our public officials, in particular, must stand up to scrutiny and meet community standards and expectations.

Former Victorian State Liberal MP Olexander clearly had breach that standard last year when he was caught well over the limit, he was reckless and stupid, and has paid the ultimate price. (If you ask me he got off lightly. )

As this is a serious offence and we will give Cr Sneden the benefit of doubt for the time being but if it proves otherwise she should reconsider her position.

The time has come for Victoria to consider a zero alcohol limit for all drivers helping drive the message home DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE.

Whilst it is unknown, by us, if Councilor Sneden was returning from a Council function at the time of the incident, the timing is right for the City Council to review its policy of supplying free alcoholic beverages at Council functions.

The supplying of alcohol at Council functions leaves the Council open to liability in the event of any associated accident. Something that Alison Lyon, Council’s legal officer failed to point out to the City Council. The cost of “Free”Alcohol is something that ratepayers should not have to pay for.

If you drink and drive you’re a bloody idiotIf you drink, drive and are a politician or public servant then its time to resign

Melbourne City Councillor under the spotlight

The Age newspaper has rerun a story that broke last year pertaining to Cr Fiona Sneden and allegations made against her. Cr Sneden has been charged with refusing to take a breath test which if true results in two year suspension of licence.

Link to online story (The Age 25 Jan 2006)

The details and facts of this case are sketchy, Cr Sneden claims that she was not in charge of the vehicle at the time. If this is true and she was not the driver then there is no reason why she should be required to undertake a breath test and it is possible that the police have overstep their mark.

The matter is before the courts and we don’t know the exact circumstances. We will have to wait and see what transpires.

Drink driving is a serious offence and one that can not be dismissed lightly. Our public officials, in particular, must stand up to scrutiny and meet community standards and expectations.

Former Victorian State Liberal MP Olexander clearly had breach that standard last year when he was caught well over the limit, he was reckless and stupid, and has paid the ultimate price. (If you ask me he got off lightly. )

As this is a serious offence and we will give Cr Sneden the benefit of doubt for the time being but if it proves otherwise she should reconsider her position.

The time has come for Victoria to consider a zero alcohol limit for all drivers helping drive the message home DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE.

Whilst it is unknown, by us, if Councilor Sneden was returning from a Council function at the time of the incident, the timing is right for the City Council to review its policy of supplying free alcoholic beverages at Council functions.

The supplying of alcohol at Council functions leaves the Council open to liability in the event of any associated accident. Something that Alison Lyon, Council’s legal officer failed to point out to the City Council. The cost of “Free”Alcohol is something that ratepayers should not have to pay for.

Feasting on the ratepayer

The City of Melbourne is dining in at our expense estimated at to be anywhere from around $250,000 to $750,000 a year for in-house catering costs

The Lord mayor is said to spend up big holding regular State like functions wineing and dining the many visitors and guests to our city.

Councillors and senior staff enjoy a full course meal every meeting and staff regularly serve light meals, snacks and drinks at the numerous functions and seminars held within the town hall. It makes the State Parliament dinning room look like a tuck shop.

Senior Council staff also add to the bill by ordering takeaway, or dine-out at expensive restaurants when it suits, picking up the tab on the corporate credit card.

One staff member put on the Council credit card the cost of $100/person for a night out for the entire delegation on one of the Council’s many overseas junkets. Because the cost was allocated to the staff members account the amount spent did not show up on the Councillors’ expense statement. Cleaver creative accounting recipes in how to cook the books.

There are many Municipal Councils who would die to have access to half of the Council’s catering bill – just to meet necessary community expenses let alone the luxury entertainment enjoyed by staff and councillors down at town hall.

Some Councillors have been reported as saying the quality of the in-house catering is not to their likening and the food just goes to waste left untouched on the plate until deposited in the bin

There are homeless people on the streets of Melbourne who go without a meal and are lucky if they can afford the cost of a Big Mac.

We have requested the Council provide detailed cost breakdown of the Council’s in-house catering bill but to date have not received any response to our request.

Surely the Council maintains an account of this expenditure in its financial analysis, if not then why not, if yes then publish the details. Show us the bill and do not forget the tips and cost of alcohol.

It would appear that the only way to obtain information on the expenditure of the City Council is via Freedom of Information. This is a clear abuse of process as Council have an obligation to make this information available without the need to apply under FoI.

As s0on as we get a meaningful reply to our request we will publish it for all to see but don’t hold back your appetite waiting… we expect it will be a long wait before it is served.

Feasting on the ratepayer

The City of Melbourne is dining in at our expense estimated at to be anywhere from around $250,000 to $750,000 a year for in-house catering costs

The Lord mayor is said to spend up big holding regular State like functions wineing and dining the many visitors and guests to our city.

Councillors and senior staff enjoy a full course meal every meeting and staff regularly serve light meals, snacks and drinks at the numerous functions and seminars held within the town hall. It makes the State Parliament dinning room look like a tuck shop.

Senior Council staff also add to the bill by ordering takeaway, or dine-out at expensive restaurants when it suits, picking up the tab on the corporate credit card.

One staff member put on the Council credit card the cost of $100/person for a night out for the entire delegation on one of the Council’s many overseas junkets. Because the cost was allocated to the staff members account the amount spent did not show up on the Councillors’ expense statement. Cleaver creative accounting recipes in how to cook the books.

There are many Municipal Councils who would die to have access to half of the Council’s catering bill – just to meet necessary community expenses let alone the luxury entertainment enjoyed by staff and councillors down at town hall.

Some Councillors have been reported as saying the quality of the in-house catering is not to their likening and the food just goes to waste left untouched on the plate until deposited in the bin

There are homeless people on the streets of Melbourne who go without a meal and are lucky if they can afford the cost of a Big Mac.

We have requested the Council provide detailed cost breakdown of the Council’s in-house catering bill but to date have not received any response to our request.

Surely the Council maintains an account of this expenditure in its financial analysis, if not then why not, if yes then publish the details. Show us the bill and do not forget the tips and cost of alcohol.

It would appear that the only way to obtain information on the expenditure of the City Council is via Freedom of Information. This is a clear abuse of process as Council have an obligation to make this information available without the need to apply under FoI.

As s0on as we get a meaningful reply to our request we will publish it for all to see but don’t hold back your appetite waiting… we expect it will be a long wait before it is served.

Feasting on the ratepayer

The City of Melbourne is dining in at our expense estimated at to be anywhere from around $250,000 to $750,000 a year for in-house catering costs

The Lord mayor is said to spend up big holding regular State like functions wineing and dining the many visitors and guests to our city.

Councillors and senior staff enjoy a full course meal every meeting and staff regularly serve light meals, snacks and drinks at the numerous functions and seminars held within the town hall. It makes the State Parliament dinning room look like a tuck shop.

Senior Council staff also add to the bill by ordering takeaway, or dine-out at expensive restaurants when it suits, picking up the tab on the corporate credit card.

One staff member put on the Council credit card the cost of $100/person for a night out for the entire delegation on one of the Council’s many overseas junkets. Because the cost was allocated to the staff members account the amount spent did not show up on the Councillors’ expense statement. Cleaver creative accounting recipes in how to cook the books.

There are many Municipal Councils who would die to have access to half of the Council’s catering bill – just to meet necessary community expenses let alone the luxury entertainment enjoyed by staff and councillors down at town hall.

Some Councillors have been reported as saying the quality of the in-house catering is not to their likening and the food just goes to waste left untouched on the plate until deposited in the bin

There are homeless people on the streets of Melbourne who go without a meal and are lucky if they can afford the cost of a Big Mac.

We have requested the Council provide detailed cost breakdown of the Council’s in-house catering bill but to date have not received any response to our request.

Surely the Council maintains an account of this expenditure in its financial analysis, if not then why not, if yes then publish the details. Show us the bill and do not forget the tips and cost of alcohol.

It would appear that the only way to obtain information on the expenditure of the City Council is via Freedom of Information. This is a clear abuse of process as Council have an obligation to make this information available without the need to apply under FoI.

As s0on as we get a meaningful reply to our request we will publish it for all to see but don’t hold back your appetite waiting… we expect it will be a long wait before it is served.

FoI: City of Melbourne In-house Catering Expenses

November 22, 2005

To the Freedom of Information Officer
City of Melbourne
Swanston Street
MELBOURNE VIC 3000

Dear Sir/Madam

Pursuant to the Victorian Freedom of Information Act I wish to request the following information.

1. A detailed monthly summary report of all in-house catering expenses provided to staff and Councillors covering the period from December 1, 2004 to the current date.

This report where possible should provide a breakdown of expenses occurred by department for each calendar month and include the cost associated with the provision of alcohol and refreshments.

If available a breakdown of costs for each individual councillor

I note that in-house catering expenses are not included or listed in the published Councillor expense statements.

As the information requested is of public interest, I request that the Council waiver the application fee required.

Should you require further information I can be contacted via return email

Yours faithfully

Anthony van der Craats
melbcity@gmail.com

Web site: http://melbournecitycouncil.blogspot.com/

FoI: City of Melbourne In-house Catering Expenses

November 22, 2005

To the Freedom of Information Officer
City of Melbourne
Swanston Street
MELBOURNE VIC 3000

Dear Sir/Madam

Pursuant to the Victorian Freedom of Information Act I wish to request the following information.

1. A detailed monthly summary report of all in-house catering expenses provided to staff and Councillors covering the period from December 1, 2004 to the current date.

This report where possible should provide a breakdown of expenses occurred by department for each calendar month and include the cost associated with the provision of alcohol and refreshments.

If available a breakdown of costs for each individual councillor

I note that in-house catering expenses are not included or listed in the published Councillor expense statements.

As the information requested is of public interest, I request that the Council waiver the application fee required.

Should you require further information I can be contacted via return email

Yours faithfully

Anthony van der Craats
melbcity@gmail.com

Web site: http://melbournecitycouncil.blogspot.com/

FoI: City of Melbourne In-house Catering Expenses

November 22, 2005

To the Freedom of Information Officer
City of Melbourne
Swanston Street
MELBOURNE VIC 3000

Dear Sir/Madam

Pursuant to the Victorian Freedom of Information Act I wish to request the following information.

1. A detailed monthly summary report of all in-house catering expenses provided to staff and Councillors covering the period from December 1, 2004 to the current date.

This report where possible should provide a breakdown of expenses occurred by department for each calendar month and include the cost associated with the provision of alcohol and refreshments.

If available a breakdown of costs for each individual councillor

I note that in-house catering expenses are not included or listed in the published Councillor expense statements.

As the information requested is of public interest, I request that the Council waiver the application fee required.

Should you require further information I can be contacted via return email

Yours faithfully

Anthony van der Craats
melbcity@gmail.com

Web site: http://melbournecitycouncil.blogspot.com/