MAYOR CUTS CAR PERK
Anna prefers the bus to chauffeur-driven ride
HOBART Lord Mayor Anna Reynolds has refused one of the biggest perks of the job: a chauffeur-driven car.
Ald Reynolds said she wanted to spare ratepayers from the $33,000 annual cost of the service, and she didn’t really go in for pomp.
She said she would rather hop on a bus or bike than be driven around.
“There’s always been this pomp and ceremony around the role, but times have changed,” she said.
“Politicians need to demonstrate some connection with the community, as well as modesty in terms of using ratepayers’ money.”
Instead of being driven to appointments and meetings, Ald Reynolds said she would use more affordable and sustainable transport options.
“I will use a variety of other methods best suited to the trip: my own car, taxis or Uber, walk, share a lift, catch a bus or ride a bike,” she said.
The retired chauffeur-driven mayoral car, a black Holden Caprice, will be sold at auction in the coming weeks for an estimated $25,000. The revenue will be returned to council’s plant and equipment budget.
The Lord Mayor’s car was due for replacement, and a new vehicle would have cost an additional $50,000.
Ald Reynolds said the cost of running the Lord Mayor’s vehicle in the 12 months to 2018 had been about $33,000 – with monthly operating expenses including fuel, driver salary, uniform, mobile phone and other associated costs.
“Based on the data of previous lord mayoral travel it is estimated that the cost of doing some of the car journeys by taxi or Uber will be around $4500 per year,” she said.
“But some of these trips will be undertaken by other methods. So I expect the ongoing operational saving will be around $25,000 per year.”
She said there was a trend for lord mayors to dump the chauffeur-driven car.
“The new Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Sally Capp, also ditched the chauffeur-driven car following her election in mid-2018,” she said.