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Council flags big job cuts

Friday, 10th May, 2013

By Erica Visser

City Council jobs will be on the chopping block following a major review of services, interim gen- eral manager Greg Wright says.

Mr Wright said that it was a reality that Council staff had to be cut back considerably, however he said it was too early to say which departments would be reduced in size.

During a discussion on the newly-adopted draft budget, Mr Wright told the BDT that Council needed to either increase revenue or make cuts where possible in order to survive.

“It’s a bit like having a champagne taste on a beer budget,” he said.

Mr Wright said that cost- saving methods may be, for example, mowing the lawn at Sturt park “eight times instead of 12 each year”.

He said that another reason for the service review was to get rid of ineff iciencies that were costing Council.

“I think in any large organisation with nearly 300 people, my view is that there are some ineff iciencies there,” Mr Wright said.

“Broken Hill needs to be relatively self-contained. A lot of it is built-in ineff iciencies but if things couldn’t be improved I’d be surprised.”

Council’s Chief Financial Officer, Tim Drew, said that the review had been needed for a long time and was not just sparked by the recent $7 million Perilya rates case.

However, he said that it may have made people realise the urgency of the matter.

“That might of been part of what triggered in people’s minds that there were issues,” Mr Drew said.

He said that the service review, which will be headed by management, would also consider how to better use Council assets.

“There will be opportunities to look at the different ways that we could use Council’s utilities, like the Civic Centre.”

Councillor Peter Black said at a budget meeting on Wednesday that management positions needed to be cut.

He had previously claimed that management was “top heavy”, prior to the September 2012 local elections. 

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