Bundaberg Regional Council spends millions on staffing.
Bundaberg Regional Council spends millions on staffing. Max Fleet BUNBRC

Council's $210m staffing bill

ONLY the money budgeted to repair Bundaberg's cyclone-damaged roads can match the amount the council spends on staff.

Since Bundaberg Regional Council's 2013-14 budget, the council has budgeted about $220 million on fixing the region's roads.

Over the same period, the council budgeted about $210 million on staff.

But the council's spending habits are far from unusual, with staffing costs a major expense for most Queensland councils.

Bundaberg mayor Mal Forman said when Bundaberg, Isis, Kolan and Burnett councils merged, the organisation was forced to adopt the most expensive of the enterprise bargaining agreements across the four councils.

"Bringing four councils together and adjusting wage rates across the region resulted in a significant increase in wages as all employees achieved parity of earnings," he said.

"Council continues to work towards a sustainable workforce and in 2014 called for voluntary redundancies which were accepted by upwards of 40 employees.

"The prudent use of available technology has also allowed council to control the growth of its workforce with employees using IT initiatives to work faster and more efficiently.

"However there will always be a requirement for council employees to undertake many manual tasks as we carry out our key role of providing services to the community."

Despite the attempts to lessen staffing costs, Cr Forman said the council played a vital role in the Bundaberg economy as one of the region's biggest employers.

"Council, with more than 800 employees, is a major employer in the Bundaberg region and it is this employment base that provides an essential economic foundation for our region, providing pay packets that are reinvested locally."



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