Popularity versus Good Governance So comes under detail scrutiny and review

Is the State Government up to the challenge?

The Age Kenneth Davidson takes a look at the underlying problems and legacy of the Kennet Government’s Local Government Reform and the urgent need for the State Government to take the necessary step of intitiating further reform and not just ride the wave.

Davidson take a inner look at the City of Melbourne but teh real soultion lies outside its current boundaries and the need to serious consider a Greater Melbourne in association with electoral reform that restors good governance, accountability and representation.

The sooner the State Government initiates a public review the sooner we can begin to address the issues that confront our city.

Council pathways need urgent repair
Kenneth Davidson The Age June 4, 2007

THE report by Ernst & Young on the operations of the Melbourne City Council is a blistering attack on the administration of the MCC under Lord Mayor John So.

Finances are out of control. According to the report, the council has had negative cash flow of $67 million in the past two years and the cumulative draw on capital over the next 10 years is estimated at $109 million.

The report states there are three key issues that contributed to the problems the council now faces: “Administration and council decision-making processes are often inconsistent, incomplete and based on poor data, the administration has an increasingly top heavy, disaggregated organisation structure, and management of staff performance is ineffective.”

Incredibly, So is refusing to take responsibility even though he played an active part behind the scenes in most of these decisions. He claims wrongly the administration of the council is the responsibility of the chief executive, David Pitchford.

Even greater responsibility lies with the State Government, which inherited an electoral gerrymander created under the Kennett government that Premier Steve Bracks has refused to reform because it wants to have both control and distance when the council becomes the victim of its own in-built incompetence.

It is the same governance principle that applies to the franchise model governing urban public transport. The Government wants to earn the gratitude of the big end of town, which wants to make money from building toll roads financed by public-private partnerships. It wants the foreign multinationals that stand behind Connex and Yarra Trams to take the heat for running an inadequate public transport system. The franchisees run the system to maximise their profit from the subsidy, which is now about twice the subsidy that applied just before the MET was taken out of public control, without an improvement in service that could justify the extra cost to the taxpayer. The Government believes it is a price worth paying in order to confuse the issue of who is responsible for the system.

As Transport Minister Lynne Kosky said recently in response to the question, why shouldn’t the Government exercise its right to rescind the franchise without penalty in November, the Government didn’t want to be responsible for running a transport system. Like So at the local government level, Kosky at the state level uses the same excuse of managerial issues outside her control to duck ministerial responsibility.

The Kennett legacy is still with us. The politicians run a double act. They are dictatorial when it suits them to be seen as decisive, and have the ability to deny accountability when it suits them to put distance between themselves and unpopular decisions.

As the Ernst & Young report points out, the wasteful expenditure, very often with no higher purpose than to increase the standing of So, has occurred because So’s control of council numbers means that projects involving additional spending outside the budget global limits, which should be referred to full council, are stitched up by council committees.

“Decisions are routinely made by council committees on recommendations that require new funding,” the report said. “This is exacerbated by the practice of not providing full costing details … (this) sets up conflict in the budgeting process as the total cost of approved initiatives exceeds the council approved budget.”

The most egregious example of the impact of this approach was So decision to provide $47.5 million to the development of the Convention Centre on South bank on the suggestion of the Treasurer, John Brumby, without referring the proposal to full council until he had stitched up the numbers outside the committee and council process.

So was told by Brumby the project would not go ahead unless the council made the $47.5 million contribution, even before concept plans were drawn up and tenders called for the development, according to Kevin Chamberlin, who was chairman of the finance committee at the time and not a supporter of the proposal.

The Bracks Government may be characterised as Kennett Lite. It’s public face is warm, friendly and caring but it is largely responsible to the same interests that stood more openly behind the Kennett government. Like the Kennett government, the Bracks Government hides behind a managerialism that tries to put as much distance between the Government and ordinary voters as possible.

The Bracks Government inherited gerrymandered boundaries and an undemocratic “deeming” provision for voting in MCC elections. The only reforms the Bracks Government introduced were to abolish the ward system and the introduction of direct voting for mayor separate from the election of councillors.

The Government left in place the gerrymandered boundaries introduced by Kennett, which split off parts of North Melbourne, half of Kensington and all of North Carlton.

The deeming provisions means that council officers are legally required to look up directors and owners of commercial property only, and where they are not already on the electoral roll they can be “deemed” to be on the role. Electoral material and ballots will be sent to them and they are entitled to vote, even if they live in China or Hong Kong or elsewhere and have never visited Melbourne or known anything about the candidates standing. The system is wide open to rorting. And yet it hasn’t been referred to the Victorian Electoral Commission, which is undertaking a review of local government structures and voting. Why?

Melbourne could get a better set of representatives if the pre-Kennett boundaries were restored and direct mayoral election was abolished, according to Green councillor Fraser Brindley. The present system, which gives more votes to commercial property owners than residents, suits the Government because it favours tame-cat business representatives who share the Government’s “development” objectives such as channel deepening, the East-West tunnel linking Hoddle Street and the Tullamarine Freeway, the Convention Centre and special events such as the Grand Prix and the Commonwealth Games.

Population is coming back to inner Melbourne. The gerrymander should be reversed so that the council is elected by a majority of residents rather than absentee property owners. MCC electoral reform and public ownership of the urban transport system are the necessary preconditions to seriously tackling Melbourne’s livability issues.

Popularity versus Good Governance So comes under detail scrutiny and review

Is the State Government up to the challenge?

The Age Kenneth Davidson takes a look at the underlying problems and legacy of the Kennet Government’s Local Government Reform and the urgent need for the State Government to take the necessary step of intitiating further reform and not just ride the wave.

Davidson take a inner look at the City of Melbourne but teh real soultion lies outside its current boundaries and the need to serious consider a Greater Melbourne in association with electoral reform that restors good governance, accountability and representation.

The sooner the State Government initiates a public review the sooner we can begin to address the issues that confront our city.

Council pathways need urgent repair
Kenneth Davidson The Age June 4, 2007

THE report by Ernst & Young on the operations of the Melbourne City Council is a blistering attack on the administration of the MCC under Lord Mayor John So.

Finances are out of control. According to the report, the council has had negative cash flow of $67 million in the past two years and the cumulative draw on capital over the next 10 years is estimated at $109 million.

The report states there are three key issues that contributed to the problems the council now faces: “Administration and council decision-making processes are often inconsistent, incomplete and based on poor data, the administration has an increasingly top heavy, disaggregated organisation structure, and management of staff performance is ineffective.”

Incredibly, So is refusing to take responsibility even though he played an active part behind the scenes in most of these decisions. He claims wrongly the administration of the council is the responsibility of the chief executive, David Pitchford.

Even greater responsibility lies with the State Government, which inherited an electoral gerrymander created under the Kennett government that Premier Steve Bracks has refused to reform because it wants to have both control and distance when the council becomes the victim of its own in-built incompetence.

It is the same governance principle that applies to the franchise model governing urban public transport. The Government wants to earn the gratitude of the big end of town, which wants to make money from building toll roads financed by public-private partnerships. It wants the foreign multinationals that stand behind Connex and Yarra Trams to take the heat for running an inadequate public transport system. The franchisees run the system to maximise their profit from the subsidy, which is now about twice the subsidy that applied just before the MET was taken out of public control, without an improvement in service that could justify the extra cost to the taxpayer. The Government believes it is a price worth paying in order to confuse the issue of who is responsible for the system.

As Transport Minister Lynne Kosky said recently in response to the question, why shouldn’t the Government exercise its right to rescind the franchise without penalty in November, the Government didn’t want to be responsible for running a transport system. Like So at the local government level, Kosky at the state level uses the same excuse of managerial issues outside her control to duck ministerial responsibility.

The Kennett legacy is still with us. The politicians run a double act. They are dictatorial when it suits them to be seen as decisive, and have the ability to deny accountability when it suits them to put distance between themselves and unpopular decisions.

As the Ernst & Young report points out, the wasteful expenditure, very often with no higher purpose than to increase the standing of So, has occurred because So’s control of council numbers means that projects involving additional spending outside the budget global limits, which should be referred to full council, are stitched up by council committees.

“Decisions are routinely made by council committees on recommendations that require new funding,” the report said. “This is exacerbated by the practice of not providing full costing details … (this) sets up conflict in the budgeting process as the total cost of approved initiatives exceeds the council approved budget.”

The most egregious example of the impact of this approach was So decision to provide $47.5 million to the development of the Convention Centre on South bank on the suggestion of the Treasurer, John Brumby, without referring the proposal to full council until he had stitched up the numbers outside the committee and council process.

So was told by Brumby the project would not go ahead unless the council made the $47.5 million contribution, even before concept plans were drawn up and tenders called for the development, according to Kevin Chamberlin, who was chairman of the finance committee at the time and not a supporter of the proposal.

The Bracks Government may be characterised as Kennett Lite. It’s public face is warm, friendly and caring but it is largely responsible to the same interests that stood more openly behind the Kennett government. Like the Kennett government, the Bracks Government hides behind a managerialism that tries to put as much distance between the Government and ordinary voters as possible.

The Bracks Government inherited gerrymandered boundaries and an undemocratic “deeming” provision for voting in MCC elections. The only reforms the Bracks Government introduced were to abolish the ward system and the introduction of direct voting for mayor separate from the election of councillors.

The Government left in place the gerrymandered boundaries introduced by Kennett, which split off parts of North Melbourne, half of Kensington and all of North Carlton.

The deeming provisions means that council officers are legally required to look up directors and owners of commercial property only, and where they are not already on the electoral roll they can be “deemed” to be on the role. Electoral material and ballots will be sent to them and they are entitled to vote, even if they live in China or Hong Kong or elsewhere and have never visited Melbourne or known anything about the candidates standing. The system is wide open to rorting. And yet it hasn’t been referred to the Victorian Electoral Commission, which is undertaking a review of local government structures and voting. Why?

Melbourne could get a better set of representatives if the pre-Kennett boundaries were restored and direct mayoral election was abolished, according to Green councillor Fraser Brindley. The present system, which gives more votes to commercial property owners than residents, suits the Government because it favours tame-cat business representatives who share the Government’s “development” objectives such as channel deepening, the East-West tunnel linking Hoddle Street and the Tullamarine Freeway, the Convention Centre and special events such as the Grand Prix and the Commonwealth Games.

Population is coming back to inner Melbourne. The gerrymander should be reversed so that the council is elected by a majority of residents rather than absentee property owners. MCC electoral reform and public ownership of the urban transport system are the necessary preconditions to seriously tackling Melbourne’s livability issues.

Popularity versus Good Governance So comes under detail scrutiny and review

Is the State Government up to the challenge?

The Age Kenneth Davidson takes a look at the underlying problems and legacy of the Kennet Government’s Local Government Reform and the urgent need for the State Government to take the necessary step of intitiating further reform and not just ride the wave.

Davidson take a inner look at the City of Melbourne but teh real soultion lies outside its current boundaries and the need to serious consider a Greater Melbourne in association with electoral reform that restors good governance, accountability and representation.

The sooner the State Government initiates a public review the sooner we can begin to address the issues that confront our city.

Council pathways need urgent repair
Kenneth Davidson The Age June 4, 2007

THE report by Ernst & Young on the operations of the Melbourne City Council is a blistering attack on the administration of the MCC under Lord Mayor John So.

Finances are out of control. According to the report, the council has had negative cash flow of $67 million in the past two years and the cumulative draw on capital over the next 10 years is estimated at $109 million.

The report states there are three key issues that contributed to the problems the council now faces: “Administration and council decision-making processes are often inconsistent, incomplete and based on poor data, the administration has an increasingly top heavy, disaggregated organisation structure, and management of staff performance is ineffective.”

Incredibly, So is refusing to take responsibility even though he played an active part behind the scenes in most of these decisions. He claims wrongly the administration of the council is the responsibility of the chief executive, David Pitchford.

Even greater responsibility lies with the State Government, which inherited an electoral gerrymander created under the Kennett government that Premier Steve Bracks has refused to reform because it wants to have both control and distance when the council becomes the victim of its own in-built incompetence.

It is the same governance principle that applies to the franchise model governing urban public transport. The Government wants to earn the gratitude of the big end of town, which wants to make money from building toll roads financed by public-private partnerships. It wants the foreign multinationals that stand behind Connex and Yarra Trams to take the heat for running an inadequate public transport system. The franchisees run the system to maximise their profit from the subsidy, which is now about twice the subsidy that applied just before the MET was taken out of public control, without an improvement in service that could justify the extra cost to the taxpayer. The Government believes it is a price worth paying in order to confuse the issue of who is responsible for the system.

As Transport Minister Lynne Kosky said recently in response to the question, why shouldn’t the Government exercise its right to rescind the franchise without penalty in November, the Government didn’t want to be responsible for running a transport system. Like So at the local government level, Kosky at the state level uses the same excuse of managerial issues outside her control to duck ministerial responsibility.

The Kennett legacy is still with us. The politicians run a double act. They are dictatorial when it suits them to be seen as decisive, and have the ability to deny accountability when it suits them to put distance between themselves and unpopular decisions.

As the Ernst & Young report points out, the wasteful expenditure, very often with no higher purpose than to increase the standing of So, has occurred because So’s control of council numbers means that projects involving additional spending outside the budget global limits, which should be referred to full council, are stitched up by council committees.

“Decisions are routinely made by council committees on recommendations that require new funding,” the report said. “This is exacerbated by the practice of not providing full costing details … (this) sets up conflict in the budgeting process as the total cost of approved initiatives exceeds the council approved budget.”

The most egregious example of the impact of this approach was So decision to provide $47.5 million to the development of the Convention Centre on South bank on the suggestion of the Treasurer, John Brumby, without referring the proposal to full council until he had stitched up the numbers outside the committee and council process.

So was told by Brumby the project would not go ahead unless the council made the $47.5 million contribution, even before concept plans were drawn up and tenders called for the development, according to Kevin Chamberlin, who was chairman of the finance committee at the time and not a supporter of the proposal.

The Bracks Government may be characterised as Kennett Lite. It’s public face is warm, friendly and caring but it is largely responsible to the same interests that stood more openly behind the Kennett government. Like the Kennett government, the Bracks Government hides behind a managerialism that tries to put as much distance between the Government and ordinary voters as possible.

The Bracks Government inherited gerrymandered boundaries and an undemocratic “deeming” provision for voting in MCC elections. The only reforms the Bracks Government introduced were to abolish the ward system and the introduction of direct voting for mayor separate from the election of councillors.

The Government left in place the gerrymandered boundaries introduced by Kennett, which split off parts of North Melbourne, half of Kensington and all of North Carlton.

The deeming provisions means that council officers are legally required to look up directors and owners of commercial property only, and where they are not already on the electoral roll they can be “deemed” to be on the role. Electoral material and ballots will be sent to them and they are entitled to vote, even if they live in China or Hong Kong or elsewhere and have never visited Melbourne or known anything about the candidates standing. The system is wide open to rorting. And yet it hasn’t been referred to the Victorian Electoral Commission, which is undertaking a review of local government structures and voting. Why?

Melbourne could get a better set of representatives if the pre-Kennett boundaries were restored and direct mayoral election was abolished, according to Green councillor Fraser Brindley. The present system, which gives more votes to commercial property owners than residents, suits the Government because it favours tame-cat business representatives who share the Government’s “development” objectives such as channel deepening, the East-West tunnel linking Hoddle Street and the Tullamarine Freeway, the Convention Centre and special events such as the Grand Prix and the Commonwealth Games.

Population is coming back to inner Melbourne. The gerrymander should be reversed so that the council is elected by a majority of residents rather than absentee property owners. MCC electoral reform and public ownership of the urban transport system are the necessary preconditions to seriously tackling Melbourne’s livability issues.

Who is John Barry Myers With Southern Metropolitan heading towards a photo finish every vote counts

History in the making with a close race heading to a photo finish

Southern Metropolitan is shaping to create another historical election event for Victoria with the contest for the last two positions being a close race. A race between the Titans. The best analogy we can come up with is a Yacht race or maybe a long distance marathon. Much depends on who can maintain the momentum as the count continues and who cross the line first.

With an election this tight every vote counts and the two biggest issues are “where does the below-the-line vote go once it leaves the group associated with their first preference vote” and “Who is John Barry Myers” the unaligned independent candidate who is currently on a total of 245 votes.

With a margin of less the 50 votes John Myers‘s votes (as is the case of every other vote) will play a potentially significant role in the makeup and control of Victoria’s future Parliament.

Heading to the courts

All ready we see the contest for Southern Metropolitan heading to the courts, as each main party starts documenting every aspect of the election in anticipation that who ever loses the election will mount a challenge in the courts.

Questions will be asked about the roles and conduct of the Victorian VEC, the lack of information, openness and transparency in the conduct of the election.

All these issues, including our concerns about the Victorian Electoral Commission staff accessing the result of the e-voting polling booth data prior to Saturday’s poll (Something Mr Steve Tully, Chief Commissioner, has emphatically denied taking place in spite evidence to the contrary) along with concern about Mr Tully’s refusal to provide relevant information to candidates, campaign managers, staff, scrutineers and members of the public in a timely fashion preventing appinted scrutineers and others from monitoring and properly scrutinising the conduct of the election. All issues will be subjected to judicial review.

This could be a repeat of the 1985 Nunawading challenge where Bob Ives was denied a seat in Parliament following a court ruling that called for the election to be rerun. If this was the case then all five positions would have to face re-election leave the ALP without its leader in the upper-house. This would depend on wheather a court injuction would prevent any candiadte form taking office pending the outcome of any court challenge in 1985 Bob Ives was allowed to take up his seat but soon lost it when teh court declared the results inconclusive and callwed for fresh elections. Maybe the losing side will opt to save the public millions of dollars in the cost of a legal challenge and the cost of having to hold fresh elections in Southern Metropolitan Region but that would be asking too much when so much is at stake.

It’s too early to speculate with certainty on the immediate aftermath of the election result. The vote is still continuing and there are an estimated (No one seams to know exactly) 30-50,000 votes to be brought on the table (where from who knows certainly not the public). VEC’s lack of openness and transparency in the conduct of this election has little to be desired.

Who is John Barry Myers With Southern Metropolitan heading towards a photo finish every vote counts

History in the making with a close race heading to a photo finish

Southern Metropolitan is shaping to create another historical election event for Victoria with the contest for the last two positions being a close race. A race between the Titans. The best analogy we can come up with is a Yacht race or maybe a long distance marathon. Much depends on who can maintain the momentum as the count continues and who cross the line first.

With an election this tight every vote counts and the two biggest issues are “where does the below-the-line vote go once it leaves the group associated with their first preference vote” and “Who is John Barry Myers” the unaligned independent candidate who is currently on a total of 245 votes.

With a margin of less the 50 votes John Myers‘s votes (as is the case of every other vote) will play a potentially significant role in the makeup and control of Victoria’s future Parliament.

Heading to the courts

All ready we see the contest for Southern Metropolitan heading to the courts, as each main party starts documenting every aspect of the election in anticipation that who ever loses the election will mount a challenge in the courts.

Questions will be asked about the roles and conduct of the Victorian VEC, the lack of information, openness and transparency in the conduct of the election.

All these issues, including our concerns about the Victorian Electoral Commission staff accessing the result of the e-voting polling booth data prior to Saturday’s poll (Something Mr Steve Tully, Chief Commissioner, has emphatically denied taking place in spite evidence to the contrary) along with concern about Mr Tully’s refusal to provide relevant information to candidates, campaign managers, staff, scrutineers and members of the public in a timely fashion preventing appinted scrutineers and others from monitoring and properly scrutinising the conduct of the election. All issues will be subjected to judicial review.

This could be a repeat of the 1985 Nunawading challenge where Bob Ives was denied a seat in Parliament following a court ruling that called for the election to be rerun. If this was the case then all five positions would have to face re-election leave the ALP without its leader in the upper-house. This would depend on wheather a court injuction would prevent any candiadte form taking office pending the outcome of any court challenge in 1985 Bob Ives was allowed to take up his seat but soon lost it when teh court declared the results inconclusive and callwed for fresh elections. Maybe the losing side will opt to save the public millions of dollars in the cost of a legal challenge and the cost of having to hold fresh elections in Southern Metropolitan Region but that would be asking too much when so much is at stake.

It’s too early to speculate with certainty on the immediate aftermath of the election result. The vote is still continuing and there are an estimated (No one seams to know exactly) 30-50,000 votes to be brought on the table (where from who knows certainly not the public). VEC’s lack of openness and transparency in the conduct of this election has little to be desired.

Who is John Barry Myers With Southern Metropolitan heading towards a photo finish every vote counts

History in the making with a close race heading to a photo finish

Southern Metropolitan is shaping to create another historical election event for Victoria with the contest for the last two positions being a close race. A race between the Titans. The best analogy we can come up with is a Yacht race or maybe a long distance marathon. Much depends on who can maintain the momentum as the count continues and who cross the line first.

With an election this tight every vote counts and the two biggest issues are “where does the below-the-line vote go once it leaves the group associated with their first preference vote” and “Who is John Barry Myers” the unaligned independent candidate who is currently on a total of 245 votes.

With a margin of less the 50 votes John Myers‘s votes (as is the case of every other vote) will play a potentially significant role in the makeup and control of Victoria’s future Parliament.

Heading to the courts

All ready we see the contest for Southern Metropolitan heading to the courts, as each main party starts documenting every aspect of the election in anticipation that who ever loses the election will mount a challenge in the courts.

Questions will be asked about the roles and conduct of the Victorian VEC, the lack of information, openness and transparency in the conduct of the election.

All these issues, including our concerns about the Victorian Electoral Commission staff accessing the result of the e-voting polling booth data prior to Saturday’s poll (Something Mr Steve Tully, Chief Commissioner, has emphatically denied taking place in spite evidence to the contrary) along with concern about Mr Tully’s refusal to provide relevant information to candidates, campaign managers, staff, scrutineers and members of the public in a timely fashion preventing appinted scrutineers and others from monitoring and properly scrutinising the conduct of the election. All issues will be subjected to judicial review.

This could be a repeat of the 1985 Nunawading challenge where Bob Ives was denied a seat in Parliament following a court ruling that called for the election to be rerun. If this was the case then all five positions would have to face re-election leave the ALP without its leader in the upper-house. This would depend on wheather a court injuction would prevent any candiadte form taking office pending the outcome of any court challenge in 1985 Bob Ives was allowed to take up his seat but soon lost it when teh court declared the results inconclusive and callwed for fresh elections. Maybe the losing side will opt to save the public millions of dollars in the cost of a legal challenge and the cost of having to hold fresh elections in Southern Metropolitan Region but that would be asking too much when so much is at stake.

It’s too early to speculate with certainty on the immediate aftermath of the election result. The vote is still continuing and there are an estimated (No one seams to know exactly) 30-50,000 votes to be brought on the table (where from who knows certainly not the public). VEC’s lack of openness and transparency in the conduct of this election has little to be desired.

Brack’s new team announce Ex Melbourne Lord Mayor, Richard Wynne, appointed Local Government Minister responsible for the City of Melbourne

Andrew Landeryou (The Other Cheek) has just reported on the make-up of the new Bracks Government Ministry following a historic 3rd-term win for the Labor State Government

Not a bad team and it was good to see Dick Wynne allocated the most important Local Government Ministry. Dick, a former Lord Mayor of Melbourne, knows Local Government best. He should and hopefully will put his mark on the portfolio and continue with much needed reform of this sector.

When the ALP get around to fulfilling Bronwyn Pike’s election promise to residents and business of Kensington to review the City of Melbourne’s external boundaries, hopefully Dick will open up the review and include all players and interested parties (including Carlton, Prahran, South Yarra, Kensington and possibly Richmond and Albert Park, South Melbourne, Port Melbourne and St. Kilda regions – By suggestion is that a Greater City of Melbourne should take in the State Seats of Melbourne, Richmond, Prahran and Albert Park based loosely around the former Melbourne Province Boundaries with the Yarra being the central uniting focus)

The ALP has a clear mandate for reform of the inner city council and with Melbourne City Council’s senior Liberal party member, Peter Clark, recently supporting a call for a review of the cities boundaries, the idea of Greater Melbourne might manage to make it onto the Governments reform agenda. if its going to happen then Dick is the man to oversee the transition.

We look forward to a successful term in office as the ALP works towards a forth term in 2010.

Brack’s new team announce Ex Melbourne Lord Mayor, Richard Wynne, appointed Local Government Minister responsible for the City of Melbourne

Andrew Landeryou (The Other Cheek) has just reported on the make-up of the new Bracks Government Ministry following a historic 3rd-term win for the Labor State Government

Not a bad team and it was good to see Dick Wynne allocated the most important Local Government Ministry. Dick, a former Lord Mayor of Melbourne, knows Local Government best. He should and hopefully will put his mark on the portfolio and continue with much needed reform of this sector.

When the ALP get around to fulfilling Bronwyn Pike’s election promise to residents and business of Kensington to review the City of Melbourne’s external boundaries, hopefully Dick will open up the review and include all players and interested parties (including Carlton, Prahran, South Yarra, Kensington and possibly Richmond and Albert Park, South Melbourne, Port Melbourne and St. Kilda regions – By suggestion is that a Greater City of Melbourne should take in the State Seats of Melbourne, Richmond, Prahran and Albert Park based loosely around the former Melbourne Province Boundaries with the Yarra being the central uniting focus)

The ALP has a clear mandate for reform of the inner city council and with Melbourne City Council’s senior Liberal party member, Peter Clark, recently supporting a call for a review of the cities boundaries, the idea of Greater Melbourne might manage to make it onto the Governments reform agenda. if its going to happen then Dick is the man to oversee the transition.

We look forward to a successful term in office as the ALP works towards a forth term in 2010.

Brack’s new team announce Ex Melbourne Lord Mayor, Richard Wynne, appointed Local Government Minister responsible for the City of Melbourne

Andrew Landeryou (The Other Cheek) has just reported on the make-up of the new Bracks Government Ministry following a historic 3rd-term win for the Labor State Government

Not a bad team and it was good to see Dick Wynne allocated the most important Local Government Ministry. Dick, a former Lord Mayor of Melbourne, knows Local Government best. He should and hopefully will put his mark on the portfolio and continue with much needed reform of this sector.

When the ALP get around to fulfilling Bronwyn Pike’s election promise to residents and business of Kensington to review the City of Melbourne’s external boundaries, hopefully Dick will open up the review and include all players and interested parties (including Carlton, Prahran, South Yarra, Kensington and possibly Richmond and Albert Park, South Melbourne, Port Melbourne and St. Kilda regions – By suggestion is that a Greater City of Melbourne should take in the State Seats of Melbourne, Richmond, Prahran and Albert Park based loosely around the former Melbourne Province Boundaries with the Yarra being the central uniting focus)

The ALP has a clear mandate for reform of the inner city council and with Melbourne City Council’s senior Liberal party member, Peter Clark, recently supporting a call for a review of the cities boundaries, the idea of Greater Melbourne might manage to make it onto the Governments reform agenda. if its going to happen then Dick is the man to oversee the transition.

We look forward to a successful term in office as the ALP works towards a forth term in 2010.

Melbourne City Games Bank City Council embraces creative accounting to fund Commonwealth Games deficit

Melbourne City Council has been asked to fun an extra 6Muillion Dollars to help bail out the State Government for ever increasing costs associated with the holding of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games.

The Age March 4, 2006

A deal between the Melbourne City Council and the State Government reported in the Age indicates that the State Government would provide ongoing funding for Moomba in return for the City of Melbourne raiding the Council’s bank account an chipping in an extra 6 Million dollars. Although ten full details of the offer are unknown what is clear is that this proposal is creative accounting where the the State Government’s cost games are reduced making the squares on the book look more acceptable. (If that is a all possible).

The costs to the Council should be the same on paper 6 Million (less the loss of investment interest) with the State Government paying the Council back in yearly subsidies of Moomba – The State gets reduced games coast and the City of Melbourne books show a decreased costs for Moomba.

The City of Melbourne regally embarks on such creative accounting exercises and this is one reason why the City of Melbourne is prepared to go to such lengths to avoid accountability and disclose of its costs.

By agreeing to help bail out the State Government the City Council hope to win favour and support from Spring Street. If one turns a bling eye to the other. You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours as both entities conspire to mislead the public.

The article published in the Age is well worth reading as the costs published are just the tip of the ice-berg with much more costs hidden away under different budget items or attributed to current costs.

Any serious analysis and review can only raise questions and doubts as to the overall benefits

All in the name of the games.