Recently, ASU Delegates from across the State got together at our annual Delegates Conference to discuss the issues facing our members in Local Government.
We discussed the impending crisis in Local Government fuelled by rate capping and underfunding by both the State and Federal Governments.
- Home and Community Care Services, Early Childhood Education and Waste Collection Services have been under attack for many years. But we are now seeing Councils looking to outsource other services with recent examples including Environmental Health Services, School Crossing Supervisors and even a Community Farm.
- Many small rural Councils may not be able to continue to provide the existing levels of service into the future due to rate capping and underfunding. For example Buloke Shire Council has just 1.5 residents per km of road and does not have the population to maintain infrastructure to the level the community deserves without additional government funding.
- Average wage increases have almost halved from just under 4% per annum to 2% per annum since rate capping was introduced.
Highlights of conference included the delegate’s panel where they shared their recent experiences of bargaining and we would like to thank Trevor Roberts (Frankston CC), Bruce Michailidis (Melbourne CC), Paul Fish (Warrnambool CC) and Carol Crofts (Maribyrnong CC) for sharing their wisdom and strategies.
We presented a campaign plan arising from the Local Government Summit and members meetings held earlier this year and gained valuable feedback from the delegates present.
A Campaign Committee with representatives from every Council will be meeting shortly to direct our campaign, and meetings of members at every Council will be held from now until early in the New Year.