Melbourne Council staff spent $ 330,000 on travel taxpayer funds this year

Council Counsel Ben Rimmer (pictured) only accumulated $ 30,000 in staff travel expenses in 2017, when he flew to two cities in the United States.

The staff of the city of Melbourne reportedly spent a staggering $ 330,000 of taxpayer money on trips of national and international staff over the past year.

Reportedly, staff has visited New York, Paris, Los Angeles, Toronto and Cape Town over the past year, claiming expenses in professional development.

Counil Chief Executive Ben Rimmer raised only $ 30,000 in staff travel expenses in 2017 when he flew to two US cities, Herald Sun reported.

Council Counsel Ben Rimmer (pictured) only accumulated $ 30,000 in staff travel expenses in 2017, when he flew to two cities in the United States.

Council Counsel Ben Rimmer (pictured) only accumulated $ 30,000 in staff travel expenses in 2017, when he flew to two cities in the United States.

According to reports, the executive director flew to Boston and New York last October to attend two taxpayer-funded "entrepreneurship" programs designed to benefit his role.

He attended the Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, followed by the International Faculty Scholars Program.

On the MIT website, the university states that its programs offer attendees a "practical approach to strengthening business ecosystems driven by innovation."

The CEO then took another lecture for staff expenses, when he attended the MIT program from vision to practical action & # 39; in June of this year.

Board executive Martin Cutter and digital director Michelle Fitzgerald also accumulated an invoice of $ 24,426 when they flew to Europe to attend several seminars.

Mr. Rimmer flew to New York (left) last October to attend an "entrepreneurship" program, and then visited Japan (right) to benefit his role

It was not only the international destinations that accumulated expensive petty cash bills, but some domestic trips also increased the bill, the Herald Sun reported.

These included a $ 5,000 conference in Sydney attended by Dean Robertson and Kevin Schwieker, as well as a Brisbane performing arts market valued at $ 3,203 attended by Kaye Glamuzina.

Gideon Rozner, of the Institute of Public Affairs, told the publication that it seemed that the council had money to spend, given the amount spent on "fast food".

"It's time for a considerable rate cut," he said.

Among the numerous places visited by the staff in the last 12 months are Paris (left), Los Angeles (center) and Toronto (right)

But according to a spokeswoman for the City of Melbourne, staff travel is necessary to ensure that we are better positioned to attract and support the jobs, investment and innovation of the future & # 39;

She said the council was very aware of the cost of travel and only agreed to finance trips that were essential.

"Travel by staff is governed by the corporate travel policy that has strict guidelines and reporting criteria for expenses incurred," he said.

"Such a trip should demonstrate professional development and / or a return on investment for the City of Melbourne."

Daily Mail Australia has contacted the city of Melbourne for comments.

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