There’s a Crisis on the Frontline that leads to the outsourcing of local government jobs and terrible results for workers and the community.
Years of underfunding and cost-shifting by the state and federal governments has, together with rate capping, hit councils hard.
A clear example of the terrible outcomes that come with outsourcing is the management of fine enforcement.
Last year, Glen Eira, Port Phillip, and Stonnington councils had to refund almost $20 million in fines after they breached the Infringements Act, which requires councils to handle parking fine appeals internally.
By contrast, Ballarat has a team of traffic and reviews officers and the internal processes to ensure each contested fine can reasonably be assessed.
James Smail is one of the team that keeps traffic moving through the city, ensuring commerce and connectivity for their community.
And critically, the revenue raised by James and his team is used by the council to serve the community, not for big business profit.
When councils take shortcuts, it’s the community who suffers and dedicated council workers who miss out. That’s why a directly employed workforce of compliance and review officers is needed to avoid these bungles and enormous payouts.