CITY of Greater Bendigo staff have welcomed a meeting with Minister for Local Government Jeanette Powell over a superannuation fund shortfall.
But they say there is still a lot of work to do before the issue will be resolved.
The council must top up the super fund if it underperforms, which cost the organisation $9.7 million this year.
City of Greater Bendigo chief executive Craig Niemann said yesterday’s meeting with Ms Powell had been positive.
“She’s clearly aware that this is a big issue for local governments in Victoria and we’re trying to make sure that we’re taking action now, otherwise this liability might come for the next 50 years,” he said.
“She certainly listened to everything council had to say.
“We talked to the minister about whether the fund didn’t have to be fully funded all the time and the role the state might play in that. And also the fact that whatever we have to pay in any super call is subject to Workcover premiums.”
Mr Niemann said there were challenges around who was responsible for legislation concerning the fund.
“The feds are suggesting if anything was to change the state would have to take up the role of the liability if there is any,” he said.
“And that’s what we’ll be pushing for in the long term.”
Mayor Lisa Ruffell said Ms Powell had come well-prepared to the meeting.
“She did her homework and had some answers,” Cr Ruffell said. “We didn’t like the answers, but at least she did a bit of work.
“We’ve got to push on with this. We can’t let this die because it’s the money component that is going to affect all the communities. It’s a big concern.”
The council has also met with Federal Minister for Workplace Relations, Financial Services and Superannuation Bill Shorten over the issue.