Administrator’s Column – Business Recovery Plan

Date

Monday, 24 May 2021

Release

Week one in the Administrator role has been somewhat challenging and to a degree filled with frustration. I believe some of this was evident in my comment ‘people need to get it into their heads’, this comment was not intended to insult anyone, and I apologise if I’ve done so.

I only wanted to be very clear with the community that whilst we’ve made some significant adjustments we are still not in the clear, and we will not be for quite some time.

Much to the community’s disappointment, we are now in the next phase of the set of measures announced initially to restore our financial position - the selling ofassets. 

We seem to have very quickly forgotten Council became insolvent to the point where it couldn’t find money to pay its staff wages last October. In private sector speak the Council was ‘broke’.

That is the major issue – for our bankers we need to find ways to remain solvent into the future, and that required producing a 10-year budget which showed surpluses year on year for the next ten years.

The focus needs to be on the trading position of Council rather than repayment of Council’s bank debt ($350m) which is amortised over 15 years and budgeted for.

I am happy to say we have downsized the organisation, cut capital expenditure ($70m) and received the 15% rate increase. We have some stability for the next three years but we’re not in the clear yet.

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Last updated : Wed 16 Jun 2021