News

'Secret' charges helped sink Coast life guard service

The Sunshine Coast Council Life Guard service was hit with unexplained internal fees by council.
The Sunshine Coast Council Life Guard service was hit with unexplained internal fees by council. Brett Wortman

SUNSHINE Coast Council has failed to release detail of how indirect internal charges levied against its life guard service jumped from $400,000 to $1.4 million during a period its future was under review.

The council controversially offloaded the 40-year service to a commercial arm of Surf Life Saving Queensland, awarding it a contract potentially worth more than $50 million without going to tender.

More than 5000 people signed a petition calling for the decision to be reconsidered.

Repeated attempts through the mayor's office to get bureaucrats to provide the itemised detail of internal charges levied against the service during the past four years have failed to elicit an answer.

The Sunshine Coast Daily revealed on September 1 that corporate overheads levied against the life guard service amounted to $14,000 for each of the 100 full-time, part-time and casual employees who patrol our beaches.

The post-amalgamation overheads for payroll, human resources, finance and IT added $1.41 million to the cost of the service in 2011-12 and was the biggest contributor to the costs blowing out by nearly $1.75 million in just three years.

However, officers remain reluctant to itemise the charge and apply a dollar value to each of the internal services provided.

"Indirect internal charges" against the life guard service rose from $439,674 in 2008-09 to $1.41 million in 2011-12."

The nearly $1 million increase was listed but left unexplained in the Sunshine Coast Lifeguard Service Plan 2012-13 that informed the internal council review which led to the decision to hand the service over to the Australian Life Guard Service.

The plan noted that "over the past three-year period there has been an average annual increase of 6.6% to the operation cost of the life guard service".

"While there has been a small increase in service levels over this period, the increases are largely due to wage rises and increases in operating costs," the report states.

In fact the largest impact came from the "indirect internal charges" which accounted for $971,263 of the $1,737,420 increase in the cost of the service from 2008-9 to 2011-12.

Topics:  council lifeguard life guards



Man in custody following road and foot pursuit

Police generic.  Photo: John McCutcheon / Sunshine Coast Daily

Police followed the driver from Coominya to Toogoolawah

Relief from hot, sticky conditions on its way

Chance of a Saturday afternoon storm

Three news subscriptions and a free paper for $3 - saywhat?!

No Caption

FORGET everything you thought you knew about a great deal.

Local Partners

Daniel MacPherson: acting’s a bit like channel surfing

Australian actor Daniel MacPherson in a scene from the American TV series APB.

THE Aussie export talks about making his mark in the US.

Shopping isn't fun if you can see dead people

Lisa Marie Woodham will be giving readings in Gladstone until Saturday January 21.

Shopping isn't fun if you can see dead people

Chopper's Republic of Ipswich

HELLO: Chopper will perform his new show Anzakistan at the Racehorse Hotel next month.

Popular character returns

Buderim man strips off for speed dating with a twist

RAW AMBITION: Buderim local Jackson pictured with his blind date Candice in a scene from SBS's new dating show Undressed.

People have done stranger things for love

Matthew McConaughey wrongly used as medical example

Doctor tried to steal credit for McConaughey's hair treatment

J.K. Rowling writes through severe back pain

An aching back couldn't stop J.K. Rowling catching inspiration

Ipswich house prices looking up in "seller's market”

Region's median house price climbed 1.4% to $325,000 and the median unit price fell 13.8% to $235,000 in the September quarter.

Median house price climbs 1.4% to $325,000 as unit price falls 13.8%

By the water's edge

Secure your seachange

Work to be done before Hungry Jack's opens

Roadworks outside the Hungry Jack's restaurant at Brassall must be completed before it opens.

Ipswich residents will have to wait for their Whoppers

HOT PROPERTY: Money to spend on land, buildings

File picture.

Sale, leasing of industrial real estate picks up in Mackay

Collapsed Coast company could owe up to $5 million

Staff, ATO, landlords among those out of pocket.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!