Coast council racks up multi million charge

AS THE Sunshine Coast Council continues to pick over the entrails of the de-amalgamation costs, the latest report to go before the southern councillors shows this process is not about to leave its ratepayers out of pocket.

The latest Coast council corporates services financial performance report shows of the $3.4 million "favourable variance" revenue , $2. 3 million relates to "the reimbursement of de-amalgamation costs up to 23 December 2013".

Under the de-amalgamation arrangements imposed by the State Government, the new Noosa Council must pick up all costs deemed to be due to the split from the regional council.

This reimbursement is for $1.3 million in employee costs and $1 million in materials and services, which covers costs incurred by the Sunshine Coast Council on de-amalgamation activities.

"A total of $1.3 million in Sunshine Coast Council employee costs was spent on de-amalgamation activities up to 23 December 2013 with around 4% of this related to additional staff employed solely for de-amalgamation work.

"The reimbursement of this expenditure has been received."

In the run-down on the council's employee costs the report to go to yesterday's general meeting, said at the end of February "employee costs were over budget by $1.4 million".

And this was partly due to its own staff review and staff reduction pay-outs.

"Redundancy costs resulting from the organisation review are $508,889 above budget.

"Due to staggered timing of redundancies, the employee cost savings in 2013/14 are $251,000 less than budgeted," the report said.

Coast ratepayers also enjoyed a $800,000 pick up in refunds from the Office of State Revenue for over-charged payrole tax, while $322,000 of the $3.4 million is from higher than expected sales from recycled waste materials from council landfill, the report said.

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