Wyndham residents are outraged at news that Wyndham council has almost doubled spending on its senior officer salaries in a year.
Star Weekly last week reported that the council paid its senior officers more than $11.75 million in the 2018-19 financial year, compared to $6.91 million in the previous 12 months.
The figures were included in a council report released last month, which also disclosed the council paid 68 senior officers more than $148,000 each annually, compared to 41 for the previous 12 months. The total includes remuneration and, in some cases, termination payments.
The council’s chief people officer, Theunis Mienie, said that during the 2018-19 financial year, the council only added two new permanent and two part-time senior officer positions.
“The 68 staff includes all staff who earned above $148,000,” Mr Mienie said.
“However, this may not be on an ongoing basis and can be the result of an extraordinary circumstance, for example when staff have acted in more senior positions during the year, which pushed their earnings above $148,000.”
After Star Weekly posted the article on social media, several readers commented on the “ridiculous increase”.
John wrote: “What a bloody disgrace! …This council is out of control and it’s the hardworking homeowner and small business people footing the bill!”
Caroline said: “And we still can’t get a bloody traffic light at Sneydes and Point Cook road intersection.” Adrian wrote: “…the quality of their work has not increased and the population growth in the area hasn’t immediately doubled in the past 12 months. What is the justification?”
Western metropolitan region MP Bernie Finn said Wyndham council was “off with the pixies” if they thought spending $11.75 million on senior officers was “acceptable”.
“Considering Wyndham is such a fast-growing municipality with its population growth, you would have thought they’d be better spending the money on serving the community instead of almost doubling their spending on senior bureaucrats,” Mr Finn said.