Ballarat City Council spent more than $2.6 million extra on employment wages in the 2015-16 financial year, than it did in the previous year, according to its annual report.
The report revealed staff remuneration was $58.6 million compared to $56 million for the same period in the previous financial year. The report also revealed the council increased the total number of staff from 820 employees to 964 people.
It found staff turnover was at 13.3 per cent up from 7 per cent, with 100 staff exiting the organisation compared to 58 the previous year. The number of full-time staff soared from 624 last year to 693. Ballarat chief executive Justine Linley said the sharp increase in staff numbers was attributed to the council taking over the contract of the the Ballarat Lifestyle and Aquatic Centre last year. She said there was also an increase in staffing numbers for areas including maintaining sporting grounds and public amenities.
The report found the council employed 18 senior officers on salaries of $133,000 or more compared to 16 in the previous year. There was a rise in the $180,000 to $189,000 bracket from one to three officers and in the $150,000 to $159,000 bracket from one to three employees. Council income from statutory fees, infringements and fines was down by $500,000 on the previous year. According to the city’s finance director Glen Kallio the council’s operational expenditure was $184 million, assets were worth $1.6 billion, and rates and charges equated $97.5 million up from $90 million in the previous year.
The council’s debt sits at $48 million.
Rates and charges equated for about 53 per cent of the council’s total operating income while employee costs made up about 40 per cent of the council’s total operating expenditure.