Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Time For Change

Time for Change

Over the last few weeks the ERA have attended various public and council meetings. The public are demanding real change within the ESC. The public view the ESC as responsible for preventing the Eurobodalla from thriving. 

Unless ESC responds immediately with specific actions to address specific issues, in accordance with the demands of the ratepayers, then surely this Council will cease to exist in its present form.

We need new management at a high level at the council and we need it quickly. We insist that ALL the known blocks to economic growth are removed. We need all the bureaucratic and political red tape to stop. We need clear future direction and vision, driven by the community, articulated by the Mayor, who must lead for the community and cease being an apologist for the ESC.

The 10 key actions that we, the ratepayers of ESC require are:

  1. . Completion of the Rural Lands Review Strategy and an LEP within 3 months, amended to reflect the community demands ( “like for like” zoning, NO E zones or Overlays, no minimum lot sizes , no requirement for a council maintained sealed road and no sun-setting clauses on rural dwelling entitlements )
  2.  That Council review its SLR policy to the satisfaction of the those affected in the community 
  3.  An immediate reduction in non –essential services that we cannot afford and internal structural change / reduction in ESC staff that improves efficiency, to ensure that core essential services are provided. An external review of services is required.
  4.  Reform of the planning departments’ policies to attract development and facilitate home building 
  5.  Relaxation of blocks to developers and investors
  6.  Adopt strategies that attract funding for major developments and aggressively pursue infrastructure grant monies, and use those monies for their purposes WITHIN A DEFINED TIMEFRAME (e.g. The Spine Road)  
  7.  A concerted effort to get the population / rateable base UP in this Shire by attracting new business and people, and by making the shire an affordable place to live 
  8.  That ESC addresses infrastructure maintenance issues 
  9.   That council releases its FFTF document for community discussion before June 30th
  10.  That all senior personnel are on performance contracts and all other staff are on a productivity improvement scheme.
To implement this regime of change it is recommended that the ESC finds a suitably qualified individual   [number two to the GM] to oversee this program. This person must advocate for the community demands and drive effective change in almost all aspects of council business.

We will strongly advocate for State Government intervention if the ESC refuses or fails to comply.

Sincerely the ERA Team

Chart: According to this information from IPART, ESC’s Full Time Equivalent staffing cost is about $6MILLION above the Group 4 average and about $7.5MILLION above the State average.

When Consultant / Contractor costs are added, ESC appears to be about $4.5MILLION above both the Group 4 and State averages.

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