MEDIA RELEASE: Financial Statements & Capital Works November 2015 Progress Report

Nambucca Shire Council’s Auditor, Mr Geoff Allen from the firm Forsyths presented the Council’s audited financial statements to Council’s meeting on 26 November 2015.

In relation to the all important TCorp criteria on financial sustainability, the Council had a positive operating performance ratio of 3.4%.  The operating performance ratio measures the council’s ability to meet operating expenditure with operating revenue, especially depreciation of infrastructure assets.  This positive result compares with an average deficit of 8.4% for similar sized (Group 11) councils and the Fit for the Future benchmark of breakeven or better average over a three year period.
 
An excellent result was achieved by Council’s Finance Section in keeping the proportion of outstanding rates down to 4.4%.  It compares very favourably to an average of 6.4% for similar sized (Group 11) councils and a state average of 6.59%.
 
In commenting on the results, Mayor Rhonda Hoban said she was pleased the Council had been issued with an unqualified audit which confirmed previous findings by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal that the Council was on track to meet its financial sustainability criteria over the next 5 years.
 
“Whilst we have been deemed by IPART to have an acceptable financial plan to secure our future, there will still be a lot of on-going work in delivering that plan.  The audit report provides further confirmation that our financial planning is sound”, said Councillor Hoban.
 
“On behalf of the Council I would like to thank Council’s Finance Section for their work in producing the financial statements.  I should also pay tribute to our community for their contribution in paying their rates on time and keeping the ratio of outstanding rates to a minimum.  For a community which does have a level of disadvantage, this is a first class effort”, said Councillor Hoban.
 
Council’s bridge renewal program has been the recipient of additional funding from a special rate variation.  By way of an update, the following projects are planned for completion in 2015/16:
 
Lovedays Bridge, Upper Warrell Creek Road - $220,000 – completion mid February 2016
Factory Bridge, Greenhills Road - $340,000 – completion mid January 2016
Top Bridge, North Arm Road - $123,000 – completed
Boat Harbour, Boat Harbour Road - $1,010,000 (concrete) – completion June 2016
Coulters Bridge, Taylors Arm Road - $85,000 – completed
Jack Ryall Bridge, Simpsons Ridge Road - $125,000 – completed
Bakers Creek, Taylors Arm Road - $415,000* (concrete) – March 2016
 
* the use of a modular concrete bridge is being investigated & pricing is approximate
 
In commenting on the bridge renewal program Rhonda Hoban said that the most basic responsibility of any council was to ensure its ratepayers could access their property.  
 
“As the Council is responsible for 170 bridges, the program of renewing those bridges as they come to the end of their useful life is an enormous financial challenge”, said Councillor Hoban.
 
“As our financial position improves we are now able to consider the use of concrete instead of timber superstructure for bridge replacements.  Whilst the initial cost is higher for concrete over timber, our estimates are that concrete will provide at least twice the design life and ultimately make Council’s bridge replacement program financially sustainable”, said Councillor Hoban.
 
“This is one example of the compounding benefit of the hard work done by council and ratepayers in getting our finances in order.  There will be good dividends for future councils and our next generation of ratepayers”, said Cr Hoban.
 
…/ends
 
For enquiries please contact the Mayor, Councillor Rhonda Hoban on 6569 5556 or 0408 661 412
 
MICHAEL COULTER
GENERAL MANAGER
27 November 2015

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