Office of the Administrator Media Release - Administrator updates the community in his 3-month progress report of Council’s financial woes - 3 February


Wednesday, 3 February 2021


Central Coast Council Administrator, Mr Dick Persson AM has tonight presented to the community his 3-month Progress Report at an Extraordinary Meeting of Council. 

Mr Persson said this report, now 3 months into his term, brings the community up-to-date on events outlined in his 30-day Interim Report into Council’s financial mismanagement delivered in late 2020.  

“My first 3 months as Central Coast Council Interim Administrator involved working out what had happened, who was responsible, and what we needed to do to return the Council to a positive financial situation. This work is largely completed, and significant progress has been made towards implementing the necessary reforms and changes,” said Mr Persson.

The 3-month Progress Report provides an update on the following, including some new recommendations: 

•    Councillors remaining suspended for a further 3 months
•    Appointment extended as Interim Administrator until April 29, 2021
•    CEO recruitment underway, with a new CEO to commence early April
•    Recommending A/CEO Mr Hart be appointed as Financial Controller once the new CEO takes office 
•    New commercial loans of $150m have been secured
•    Staff numbers are expected to return to a level at the time of merger
•    Proposing to hold a referendum to reduce the number of Councillors from 15 to 9

“These changes, along with the measures outlined in this report and in the 30-Day Interim Report will see the Central Coast Council return to a strong financial position over the next five or so years.” said Mr Persson. 

“The current cost savings achieved through applying these measures include $31m in employee costs and $23m in materials and contracts.

“The systems and reforms being developed will provide much greater transparency for both Councillors and the community, allowing them to develop a clear picture of Council finances. 

“The measure that continues to draw strong community opposition is the proposed 15% rate rise. As I have said before no one wants a rate increase especially one caused by Council’s financial mismanagement however I can’t see any other way out of the mess we find ourselves in.”     

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Last updated : Mon 8 Feb 2021