GRIFFITH’S newly elected mayor has refused to back down on staff cuts as a way to slash costs at council.
Throughout his election campaign, John Dal Broi made it clear he would examine staff numbers if elected the city’s leader.
On July 1, 15 positions were made redundant at council, including two senior management roles, generating a saving of $700,000 per year.
But Cr Dal Broi said it was not enough to bring financial stability back to council.
“I don’t want to go in like a bull at a gate but I do want to look at projects that are running part or fully funded by the state or federal government,” he said.
“I don’t have any issue with positions that are fully funded but the employees have to know that once the funding dries up it’s difficult to maintain their position.
“I’m not picking on any particular program or employees, but it is an issue we have to look at if we’re going to use ratepayers’ money wisely.”
Cr Dal Broi said council did not have the luxuries of local governments in the big cities, where footpaths, guttering and roads were already established and only required minimal funding for maintenance.
“It has been an ongoing issue for our councillors, having to spread rates income across so many different areas,” he said.
“As a rural community, we have to be fair to all of our ratepayers and I will be talking with the general manager regularly to determine which programs are in their best interests.”
Council has already agreed to stop funding two programs that started as government-subsidised initiatives.
Alternative funding sources are being investigated to allow council’s bilingual service and migrant settlement services to continue.
General manager Brett Stonestreet said staff positions would continue to be monitored with a view to reducing employee numbers if the opportunity arose.
“Any position that becomes vacant will be examined as to whether there is an opportunity to rearrange our structure to absorb it,” Mr Stonestreet said.
“In terms of our programs, we will continue to put pressure on other levels of government to take responsibility for them.
“We will negotiate with them to either fully fund the programs or identify other agencies that can deliver the service.”