A STATE government website tracking the performance of councils across Victoria shows Frankston Council makes far more decisions at meetings closed to the public than comparable councils across the state.
The Know Your Council site, launched by the Labor state government two years ago, is updated annually to give ratepayers a snapshot of how their council is performing across a range of services including community care, planning and waste collection.
Information on the site for the 2015-16 financial year, released last week, shows 17.44 per cent of council decisions were made by councillors behind closed doors compared to an average of 7.17 per cent at similar councils.
The average at all councils was 9.45 per cent.
Victorian Local Government Minister Marlene Kairouz focused on transparency at councils when releasing the updated figures this month.
“We’re making councils more accountable and transparent to the ratepayers they represent,” Ms Kairouz said in a statement.
“Know Your Council is a great resource for all things local government and includes important information on the function of councils, election information, key contacts and news from across the sector.
“This latest round of data will allow ratepayers to better monitor how their council is performing now – compared to previous years and other councils.”
A statement from Frankston Council management on the Know Your Council said: “Over 50 per cent of decisions made in closed council meetings related to contracts over $500,000.”
The Know Your Council site listed community satisfaction with council decisions at 54 per cent, lower than an average of 59 per cent at comparable councils but in line with an average of 54 per cent at all councils.
Council fared better on the basics of “rates, roads and rubbish” than on transparency.
The site shows 95.34 per cent of roads in Frankston are sealed “to condition standards” against a 94.97 per cent average at similar councils.
In Frankston, an average of just 1.34 rubbish bins were missed for collection per 10,000 households, well below similar-sized councils’ average of 5.68 missed per 10,000 households.
Council collected $1166 on average per ratepayer in the municipality compared to $1564.95 at similar councils.
See knowyourcouncil.vic.gov.au online for council performance data and responses from council management in each service category.