Council To Trim Fat After $69.3 Million Spent On Staff
Tuesday January 29, 2008
MORE than 43 per cent of Wollongong City Council expenditure was spent on wages and salaries last financial year.The figure compares to only 37 per cent in 1998. Statistics just released by the Department of Local Government show Wollongong paid $69.3 million in wages and salaries in 2006-2007, the third largest among NSW's 151 councils.General manager David Farmer has already signalled his intention to reduce the number of staff at the council in an effort to cut costs. The move is in response to a looming infrastructure crisis as Wollongong's roads, buildings and parks fall into disrepair for want of funds.Mr Farmer brought in a new slim-line council structure in September, axing two senior positions while suggesting there could be job cuts to come."We will be trimming throughout the organisation and this is just the first phase of it," Mr Farmer said four months ago. "We will be looking at everything we do and how we do it, and how much we do it and what we do."Wollongong has the third largest population of any council area, with 192,000 residents and about 1200 staff.Its yearly expenditure is about $162 million.In Shellharbour last financial year, 44 per cent of the council's expenditure was paid to staff. That percentage represented $22.6 million.Kiama Municipal Council spent 49 per cent ($17 million) and Shoalhaven City Council paid 38 per cent ($45.7 million) of expenditure to staff.
© 2008 Illawarra Mercury