Wyndham council has almost doubled spending on its senior officer salaries in a year, sparking community outrage.
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.
While the report did not name those who earned more than $148,000, or their exact positions, it did reveal their salary bands.
In the past financial year, the council had three officers who earned between $320,000 and $359,999, compared to none previously.
The report stated two officers earned between $230,000 to $249,999 (compared to one previously). The report also listed Wyndham council as having:
•Three officers earning between $220,000 to $229,999 (none previously)
•Fifteen officers earning between $150,000 and $159,999 (three previously)
•Eight officers earning between $160,000 and $169,999 (seven previously)
•Twelve officers earning between $170,000 to $189,999 (13 previously).
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.”
Werribee South Ratepayers Association president Dr Joe Garra said: “There are many things in Werribee South that they could be spending money on, instead of appointing more senior officers”.
Western metropolitan region MP Bernie Finn said: “I have to say, I am gobsmacked … they would have the audacity to spend this sort of money on highly-paid bureaucrats.
“It just seems to me that the council is out of control.”