GRLC: GGCC, Councillors Fight for Our Library

3 November 2017

Post No 12 – By Rusty

GGCC Councillors: Fight for Our Library
GRLC: Library – service delivery

At the Mitchells Front Page forums on Pulse 94.7FM (Kardinia Ward 10/10/17) a question was posed on the library;

Do you support the dismantling of the Geelong Regional Library Corporation being the provider of Library services to Geelong and the other 3 surrounding Councils?

None of the candidates for the 2017 election answered the question as posed. This highlighted the lack of knowledge of the candidates about the functioning of the services of firstly CoGG but the wider picture of the G21. More of a problem was that they had not listened to the question, yet during the conduct of the forum all pushed how they were willing to listen to the community. The candidates gave a generic answer that was a bit hackneyed and most likely was prepared expecting a Library questions so was more like a type of FAQ. Not all of the candidates were present.

This again also highlights the steep learning curve, all of the new democratically elected Councillors have in front of them.

I point out the GRLC is a separate entity from the 4 Councils. It was known at least by the 5 September of the approx. $1M interim deficit from the GRLC. When the GGCC 2017/18 budget was struck the GRLC was given a significant increase in funds, it was not clear at the time what necessitated this.

This week that the official announcement of the high quality of service. Ranking as No1 in Victoria Library’s. I would agree we have a wonderful customer focused staff.

Unfortunately, also official confirmation of a deficit around $1.1M this means that CoGG has had to on equity accounting bring in a loss of $974K. (88.11%). Yet, another matter that the new Council will need to address and to continue a wonderful necessary service at the cost ratepayers are willing to accept. It is up to the Community engagement that will decide if the residents are willing to accept this as the cost of service delivery. The previous year was a surplus. Given the method of funding the results in the books of GRLC are not that relevant. It is the books of the contributing 4 councils that are, as they together the State are the major funding sources.

All four councils have GRLC Board representation. Who was filling the entitled CoGG 4 board seats during the last year? The 4 new board members (as will be Cr appointment) will along with the other current board representatives address this issue and determine how it will continue this vital and well patronised service. Any board is continually supplied performance reports, we are not privy to what action the board took during this last financial year. We will of course expect a review of the efficiency of service delivery from the new board.

Under the new CoGG Committee structure there will be an officer appointed from the Directorate of Investment and Attraction.
Why do we need officers attending Boards?
What is the officers role when in CoGG’s case have four (4) Councillor’s as “Directors”?
Are officer appointments made by the other 3 councils?

If the residents want to continue to subsidize the Library they can and it is their choice. The Councillors need to listen.

More concerning is CoGG”s subsidy of business, in particular the ongoing propping up of the tourism delivery model.

The people want delivery of the basic LG services and this new Council will need to unite, listen to the residents of course,

political allegiance and ego.


#12     R    2/11/17




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