Fredman warns of high level council job cuts
GYMPIE region councillor and former executive staffer Bob Fredman yesterday warned the council is “bleeding money” and may have to cut staff to get through the current year.
And his comments, described as “my opinion only,” contained a strong hint that the cuts will occur at a high level in the council bureaucracy, rather than front line workers.
“There have been no decisions made yet. We are aware that any staff reductions will inevitably cause hurt to some people who have enjoyed the privilege of a council income, sometimes a high income. I sincerely hope that we can minimise the impact if we do make organisational changes, but it’s either that – or rates go up again.”
“What has been known by many people for some time has been confirmed now by internal review,” Mr Fredman said yesterday.
“It’s a big legacy issue that is likely to be a consequence of past policies and (according to the CPA) an apparent lack of fiscal discipline at high levels.
“We (the Mayor, councillors and new executive team) are currently working through the process of formulating the 20/21 Budget. It is not a pleasant experience given that either our income has to go up or operational costs have to go down.
“Operational cost reductions inevitably mean staff reductions,” he said.
“However this is not a crisis. Our fundamentals in my opinion are OK, so there is no problem in maintaining or even improving basic services like roads, parks, water supplies and libraries. We have a solid frontline team who will do the job.
“I do accept that loss of staff will potentially mean a loss of service somewhere, and this is a risk we have to plan for. But decisions have to be made in the best interest of the community. Bureaucracies are always vulnerable to review when they are perceived to be costing too much.