Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Deamalgamation Costs $10M; and Ratepayers Could Be Footing the Bill for Years

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Deamalgamation Costs $10M; and Ratepayers Could Be Footing the Bill for Years

Article excerpt

Byline: Sharyn O'Neill sharyn.oneill@capnews.com.au

THE cost of deamalgamation of Rockhampton Regional Council could top $10 million.

And it could cost Livingstone Shire ratepayers an extra $177 a year for five years.

A financial assessment of deamalgamation, detailing possible one-off operational costs and recurring costs, was presented to Rockhampton Regional Council's meeting on October 9.

A staunch supporter of deamalgamation, Cr Bill Ludwig said some assumptions must be made when making projections, but the Capricorn Coast Independence Movement (CCIM) had also done the sums and had come up with significantly different figures.

C[pounds sterling]I believe council has given a worst-case scenario,C[yen] Cr Ludwig said.

The council report was presented to councillors ahead of their unanimous vote for the council to not support deamalgamation.

One-off operational costs, which include an estimated cost of a public poll to vote on deamalgamation at $100,000, totalled $2,428,000.

The recurring operational costs, which included the wages for an additional CEO at $255,000 plus additional administration staff, totalled $4,038,000 a year.

On top of that, capital costs of setting up computers and refurbishing council chambers came in at $3,645,000.

The report estimated these aspects of deamalgamation would cost Livingstone Shire ratepayers $889 each, or $177 a year over five years. If the cost was carried by all Rockhampton Regional Council ratepayers it would be $265 a ratepayer.

The report stated a number of additional costs were assumed; some were indicative only, but not unrealistic over what could be expected.

Cr Ludwig was quick to point out two of these figures were unreasonable: $1m for one-off redundancy costs for staff changing positions and $2,358,000 in recurring costs due to inefficiency in purchasing materials and services, rated at 3%. …

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