Party time – LGA Christmas costs revealed

Party time – LGA Christmas costs revealed

Some Perth local governments spent big on their 2017 staff Christmas parties.

The Cities of Canning, Armadale, Gosnells and the Shire of Serpentine-Jarrahdale spent a combined $50,000 on their staff Christmas parties last year.

Examiner Newspapers obtained Christmas Party expenditure figures from 14 local governments across Perth, as well as the semi-rural Shire of Serpentine-Jarrahdale.

The expenses of cities that provided party figures were reviewed as an overall cost, and then compared as price-per-head.

Canning, Armadale, Gosnells and Serpentine-Jarrahdale spent between $6200 and $20,000 each.

Gosnells ranked highest of the four – spending $19,500 on their Civic Centre event.

Canning and Armadale spent $15,300 and $10,100 respectively according to the city-provided figures.

The rural Shire of Serpentine-Jarrahdale spent a comparably low $6280 for an event at the King Road Brewery.

The mean event cost for all local governments surveyed was around $14,000, while the mean per-head cost was about $60.

Serpentine-Jarrahdale, with only 120 staff members, spent about $52 per-head.

The Cities of Armadale (215 people), Gosnells (650 people) and Canning (900 people) spent $47, $30 and $17 per-head respectively.

All 29 metropolitan local governments were contacted regarding their expenditure, with 15 failing to respond to repeated requests for figures or refusing to release them.

While conclusions are limited by other local governments’ failure or refusal to disclose their spending, of those that responded the Cities of Bayswater and Subiaco spent the most – $23,000 and $22,000 on 180 and 160-person events.

This equates to about $127 and $137 per-head.

The Local Government Act makes no requirement for local governments to provide information related to the spending of ratepayer money on functions.

For readers curious about their city’s spending on social events, a spokesperson for the Minister for Local Government David Templeman said residents could try to have them released.

“Go along as a member of the public to a council meeting and ask a question at question time,” they said.

“They’re not technically required to provide the answer, but it would be a bad look (if they refused).”