Where are the cost reductions?

Central Coast Council Administrator, Rik Hart

Forum –

Why is the third Central Coast Council Administrator, Mr Rik Hart, not driven to reducing operating costs and minimising the rate shock to Gosford residents and businesses?

The so-called amalgamated Council is still operating out of two Council Chambers with the associated overhead costs, and presumably duplicated roles, as well as the cost of commuting between the two facilities.

The question has been asked many times as to why the Chambers haven’t been consolidated into one facility, however, we have never received an answer.

Throughout this entire saga, the process of recovery from the appallingly bad financial management of the Council has, from day one, focused on increasing the rates, with little if any focus of reducing internal costs and improving efficiencies, that we have been made aware of.

Loans have been entered into under cover of secret deals and T&C’s that we as ratepayers have not been privy to see.

With reference to Mr Persson’s announcement on February 9 that Council will formally apply to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) for a 15 percent rate rise, it’s now become increasingly obvious that was always the intention of he and the Local Government Minister, Shelley Hancock.

The surveys and community consultations appear to be nothing but a smoke screen.

It’s not a 15 percent increase for residents of Gosford and surrounds, but a whopping increase of 43 percent, so why keep trying to soften the impact by repeatedly stating its 15 percent?

If Mr Hart was appointed as an administrator in a failing commercial business, he would be exploring two avenues to improve the bottom line of the business.

Firstly, he would be scrutinising the operating costs by reviewing the minimum number of staff needed to provide the services, then downsizing premises to meet the requirements of reduced numbers after eliminating duplicate positions and any other unnecessary overheads.

Secondly, he would be conducting a market survey to evaluate the impact on product demand if the price of the product were to be increased.

In effect, there was a market survey conducted, but the outcome has been totally ignored.

Unfortunately, for Central Coast residents the Council is a government monopoly and therefore doesn’t have to compete with any other provider.

Email, May25
Dennis Silvers, Narara