Highlights of 20 December Extraordinary Council Meeting

Date

Monday, 20 December 2021

Release

Council takes next step towards Special Variation submission and invites community to have their say

Council’s draft Revised Community Strategic Plan, Draft Delivery Program and Operational Plan, Draft Fees and Charges, Draft Long Term Financial Plan, Draft Workforce Management Strategy, and Draft Revised Asset Management Strategy will be on public exhibition and available for community submissions until Friday 21 January 2022, following adoption at today’s Extraordinary Council Meeting.

This is a step required by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) should Council make a submission to IPART for a Special Variation.  The documents reflect Council’s situation, identify the need to apply for a Special Variation and outline scenarios that are available. 

Administrator Rik Hart said Council has considered five scenarios and included three scenarios in the Long Term Financial Plan for the community to review and comment on the implications outlined for each scenario.

“I encourage ratepayers and residents to review the materials and consider what is required for their Council’s long-term path to financial sustainability,” Mr Hart said.

“The Delivery Program includes actions and projects that Council will deliver over the next three financial years and incorporates Council’s continued actions to reduce expenditure through efficiency gains and moderate adjustments to service levels.

“Council’s financial recovery plan put in place at the end of last year is working and we are meeting all major milestones and targets.

“Through our community consultation about options for services, 82% of survey respondents want Council’s overall service investment to remain the same or more and 73% would like to see investment in new assets remain the same or increase.

“The consultation also shows that the community’s view is split on whether to extend the existing Special Variation or reduce services.  Many have also made comment that Council should be held responsible for its financial situation and I have further explained the actions taken by Council in an explanatory video,” Mr Hart said.

Council has also amended the Community Strategic Plan (CSP) to acknowledge the community’s sentiment and Council’s commitment to financial sustainability.

Council will consider community submissions from the public exhibition of the plans in a Council Meeting on 3 February next year before adopting these plans and programs. Council will also formally decide at that meeting if it will make a submission to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) for the current 15% Special Variation (including rate peg) to be maintained in the rate base for an additional seven years, or ten years in total.

To view the Administrator’s video explaining the timeline of actions taken in response to Council’s financial situation, go to the Administrator page on Council's website.  

The plans plus information materials about the impacts to rates and services will be available from Wednesday 22 December at yourvoiceourcoast.com.  The plans will be open for public submissions until Friday 21 January 2022. 

Council finances on track for the year to date  

The monthly Finance Report for November shows Council’s financial performance for the financial year to 30 November 2021 is tracking well.    

Council’s operating surplus (which excludes special purpose grants and contributions for investment in capital expenditure projects) was $32.4M for the five months, representing a $15.8M favourable variance compared to the $16.6M budget surplus. 

 Council Administrator Rik Hart said Council was tracking at a steady pace as the organisation continued its path of prudent financial management.  

 “We promised our community that we would deliver on our financial recovery plan and provide a clear line of sight into our financial management, and that is what we are doing,” Mr Hart said.  

For more information go to “Monthly Finance Report” on Council's website page. 

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Last updated : Tue 21 Dec 2021