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Whitsunday Regional Council today resolved to publicly release the 2010 Financial SustainabilityReview, making it available on the Council website, at customer service centres and libraries.
Mayor Jenny Whitney said the Council’s decision to make this document publicly available reflects this Council’s commitment to openness and transparency.
“Prior to the last Council meeting, the 57 page 2010 Financial Sustainability Review had neverbefore been formally or informally presented to Council in full,” Mayor Whitney said.
The 2010 Financial Sustainability Review states that:
- Council has forecast for ongoing operating deficits from FY2009 to FY2015 with most of theseoperating deficits being significant. - While Council has capacity to increase rates and charges to FY2014, there is a limit to the level of increases that can be absorbed by ratepayers. This should also be considered in the context of proposed upgrades to water treatment of around $40 million not being included in forecasts. - Council still engages in separate work practices for the former Bowen and Whitsunday ShireCouncils, in particular rating policies, budget formation and accounting systems. - Council’s large capital expenditure program, if not appropriately managed, could result in a blow out in costs or the quality of the project may not be to the required standard.
“A document this important, containing critical financial information about the future of Council’sfinances, should have been presented formally to Council in full for noting and discussion in 2010,” she said.
Mayor Whitney said it is important this report is released publicly now so we can learn from thepast, make the correct decisions to fix the problems and implement responsible financialmanagement into the future.
“Measures which have already been taken to fix the issues, in the 2013-14 financial year, included rate increases, borrowing additional funds, not undertaking a capital works program and constraining expenditure,” she said.
“We are now looking at bringing down a responsible budget for the 2014-15 year, which relies on revenue that we will be able to generate while keeping costs down.
“Next year and the years forward will see Council’s operations return to normal.
“We are carefully considering all budget options prior to bringing down a responsible budget tobuild a bright future while making sure the mistakes of the past are not repeated.
“Financial management that is credible will see our region become a prosperous area which cantake advantage of the many opportunities we have for economic growth,” she said.
Please see attached the Mayoral Minute from 11th June 2014 on the 2010 Financial Sustainability Review.
For media enquiries, contact:Kate Lennox, Communications ManagerPhone: 07 4945 0614, 0427 458 369 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org