Num­bers game over city cof­fers

DIS­PUTE OVER AMOUNT IN CASH RE­SERVES

Stirling Times - - News - Kristie Lim

STIR­LING Mayor Gio­vanni Ital­iano has con­firmed the City of Stir­ling holds $72.9 mil­lion in re­serve funds de­spite a lo­cal gov­ern­ment can­di­date claim­ing the City had re­serves and sur­plus funds worth $2.84 bil­lion at last month’s coun­cil meet­ing.

Os­borne ward can­di­date Adam Spag­nolo posted an im­age of the City’s State­ment of Fi­nan­cial Po­si­tion for the year ended June 2016 on his pub­lic Face­book page which showed the City had $2,844,681,918 in to­tal equity worth, which in­cluded as­sets, re­serves, li­a­bil­i­ties and ac­cu­mu­lated sur­plus.

Mr Spag­nolo’s can­di­date pro­file on the City’s web­site said the coun­cil had $3 bil­lion in re­serve and sur­plus funds and he would move to al­lo­cate some of th­ese funds to re­duce fu­ture costs and coun­cil rates.

Mr Spag­nolo said he stood by his fig­ures be­cause it was what the City made avail­able on its web­site at the time of his post on Septem­ber 27.

“Most level-headed peo­ple would know that is the way gov­ern­men­tal ac­count­ing is trans­lated,” he said.

At the meet­ing, Nollamara res­i­dent and ri­val Os­borne ward can­di­date Frank Paolino asked how the City would ad­dress the in­cor­rect fig­ures that Mr Spag­nolo had put in the pub­lic do­main.

Act­ing cor­po­rate ser­vices di­rec­tor In­grid Hawkins said in­for­ma­tion about the re­serves could be found in the Statu­tory Bud­get doc­u­ment on the City’s web­site.

Ac­cord­ing to the City’s Statu­tory Bud­get, the coun­cil’s re­serve funds in­cluded $17 mil­lion for waste devel­op­ment ini­tia­tives, $15.6 mil­lion for plant re­place­ment and im­ple­men­ta­tion of the paid park­ing strat­egy, $15.7 mil­lion for leave en­ti­tle­ments and pro­vi­sions and work­ers com­pen­sa­tion, $15.9 mil­lion for the ma­jor cor­po­rate projects, $2.7 mil­lion for pay­ment in lieu of park­ing and $6 mil­lion for in­come gen­er­at­ing projects and se­cu­rity ser­vices.

Stir­ling chief ex­ec­u­tive Stu­art Jar­dine said the City re­ceived a com­plaint about the mis­lead­ing in­for­ma­tion on Face­book and a can­di­date pro­file and passed it on to the WA Elec­toral Com­mis­sion (WAEC).

A WAEC spokesper­son said the com­plaint was raised di­rectly with the Re­turn­ing Of­fi­cer, who in turn sought ad­vice from the Com­mis­sion.

“While the Com­mis­sion does not com­ment on in­di­vid­ual can­di­dates or com­plaints, this mat­ter has been ad­dressed,” the spokesper­son said.

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