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This Orange councillor says she wasted a day doing a $900 online problem-solving course

August 1, 2023

By Peter Holmes

Orange City councillor expenses will be under the spotlight at Tuesday night’s meeting following the publishing of data showing how much each councillor cost the city.

Councillor Frances Kinghorne said she was “surprised” when the figures were published.

Kinghorne cost the city $3,280.36 in the 2022/23 financial year. Her expenses were ninth highest out of 12 councillors (full breakdown below).

Her concern is about an expense of $1,345 for two training and development courses.

She said she only did the courses as she was under the impression they were they were deemed compulsory.

She described one of them - a $900 day-long course about problem solving - in less than flattering terms: “Honestly, the gist of it was if you want to solve a problem, work out what the problem is, break it down, and you should be able to solve it. Well, der!”

She said the second course, which was training for the Audit, Risk & Improvement Committee, was “worthwhile”.

“The problem is it’s impossible to know what is going to be good beforehand,” she said.

When Kinghorne looked at the expenses of other councillors - which ranged from $9,236 (mayor Jason Hamling) to $1,594 (councillor Tony Mileto) - she noticed that some had not done courses she thought she had been obliged to do.

Kinghorne said she will ask fellow councillors at the meeting on Tuesday night (August 1, 2023) if it was actually necessary for her to undertake the problem-solving course.

She said the training ran remotely from 9am to 4:30pm, but at around 11am she was emailed a certificate saying she had successfully completed the problem-solving course.

“I could have stopped there and then, but Orange City Council was paying so I figured I should try and extract maximum value.”

Four councillors - Kevin Duffy, Jeff Whitton, Tony Mileto and Glenn Floyd - had no training and development expenses.

Most councillors received a set amount for mobile phones ($290.60) and iPads ($175.46), though some billed more. For example mayor Hamling billed $738 for mobile phone, councillor Tony Mileto $447.39 and councillors Kevin Duffy and Jeff Whitton $436.32 each.

One councillor told The Orange News Examiner they understood that while training and development courses weren’t compulsory, it was expected that councillors would undertake them during their term “to further their professional development”.

They said at the start of the current term councillors filled out a form that identified their strengths and weaknesses, and that a bespoke list of courses was offered to each councillor.

2022/23 Expenses

Cr Jason Hamling (Mayor)

Phone 738.00

Ipad 175.46

Training/Development 168.90

Conference/Seminars 4,191.12

Meetings/Functions/Council Business 3,899.34

Information & Communication Tech 63.57


Cr Jeff Whitton

Phone 436.32

Ipad 175.46

Conference/Seminars 7,100.67

Meetings/Functions/Council Business 1,128.80


Cr Melanie McDonell

Phone 290.60

Ipad 175.46

Training/Development 1,830.00

Conference/Seminars 6,324.33


Cr Kevin Duffy

Phone 436.32

Ipad 175.46

Conference/Seminars 6,376.11

Meetings/Functions/Council Business 953.49


Cr Tammy Greenhalgh

Phone 290.60

Ipad 175.46

Training/Development 820.00

Conference/Seminars 4,633.40


Cr Jack Evans

Phone 290.60

Ipad 175.46

Training/Development 840.00

Conference/Seminars 3,534.38

Meetings/Functions/Council Business 570.80


Cr David Mallard

Phone 290.60

Ipad 175.46

Training/Development 1,020.00

Conference/Seminars 2,250.91

Meetings/Functions/Council Business 140.21


Cr Gerald Power (Deputy Mayor)

Phone 295.00

Ipad 175.46

Clothing & Safety 262.00

Training/Development 420.00

Conference/Seminars 1,334.06

Meetings/Functions/Council Business 935.43


Cr Frances Kinghorne

Phone 290.60

Ipad 175.46

Training/Development 1,345.00

Conference/Seminars 1,329.09

Meetings/Functions/Council Business 140.21


Cr Glenn Floyd

Phone 290.60

Ipad 175.46

Clothing & Safety 262.00

Conference/Seminars 2,315.86


Cr Steven Peterson

Phone 290.60

Ipad 175.46

Training/Development 1,200.00

Meetings/Functions/Council Business 140.21


Cr Tony Mileto

Phone 447.39

Ipad 175.46

Conference/Seminars 971.82


Total of Provision of Facilities and Expenses for Councillors during this period $62,994.46

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