Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

$2.2M and Freefalling; Council Looks at Costs as Budget Blows Out

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

$2.2M and Freefalling; Council Looks at Costs as Budget Blows Out

Article excerpt

Byline: ALAN LANDER

ALARM bells are ringing as the latest figures for the Sunshine Coast council's budget show a shortfall of $2.2 million in development application fees.

That figure is projected to blow out to $4.8 million by fiscal year's end.

Council finance director Greg Laverty said while the shortfall was a concern, it was not yet critical.

"We will continue to monitor the services we provide but the budget does not need radical surgery," he said.

Mayor Bob Abbot agreed the shortfall was concerning, because such fees were a major income earner for the council, but said it was an inevitable consequence of an economic downturn.

Mr Abbot said staffing costs were the concern given the agreement under amalgamation that no one be laid off before 2011.

"This has always been a problem for local government to respond to the market," he said.

"It's difficult to find that (staff) balance between when it's really busy and not much happening. …

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