the Breeze

COUNCIL FINANCES LOOKING TO STRONG FUTURE AND LOW RATE INCREASES

January 14, 2015

Redland City Council is now regarded as the 'best performing' council in Queensland.

Some tough work over the past three years has seen council progress from a difficult financial position, to one of considerable strength.

In that time, council has restructured and reshaped, making it more efficient and business-like in its management and approach.

Much of the success is attributed to the decisions by council, and the leadership of Mayor Karen Williams, along with the direction from head of audit Cr Mark Edwards and the implementation from council Chief Executive Officer, Bill Lyon.

Council recently released long-term financial forecast statements that indicate a very healthy situation showing growing surpluses well into the future.

So much so that in all likelihood, rate rises should be kept to a minimum in the coming years.

Council has produced a 10-year prediction that shows ever increasing surpluses until the year 2024-25.

The predicted surpluses for the next 10 years at Redland City Council are:

2015-16, $6,688.000; 2016-17, $12,100,000; 2017-18, $5,025,000; 2018-19, $7,263,000; 2019-20, $9,652,000; 2020-21, $14,531,000; 2021-22, $15,383,000; 2022-23, $16,511,000; 2023-24, $24,941; 2024-24, $26,626,000.

Cr Mark Edwards, a former banker who heads up council's audit section, says the implications for the Redlands and the Bay Islands should be 'enormous'.

Cr Edwards said the strategy showed that Council was meeting or exceeding nearly all its key financial performance indicators, and would set a clear plan to ensure Council’s continued success.

“This strategy draws on Council’s key financial policies including debt, investment, revenue, assets, procurement, capital works and constrained cash reserves,” Cr Edwards said.

“As with prudent financial management, this document is reviewed annually to ensure it reflects the economic environment and gives an accurate assessment of Council’s long-term financial forecast.

“Other key highlights of the reviewed policy include an upcoming review of our Portfolio Management Office and the introduction of lean business methodology to provide further efficiencies in the way we do business.”

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the Financial Strategy was evidence that Council’s back-to-basics approach had paid off, placing the organisation in a strong financial position.

“Redland City Council’s Financial Strategy 2015-25 demonstrates Council’s sustainability,” Cr Williams said.

“Significantly, it forecasts operating surpluses for the life of the strategy, which is good news for our community.

“The strategy also forecasts that Council’s debt will decrease over the same period.

“There are several contributing factors to the results, including commercial opportunities to raise revenue, reaping the benefits of well managed landfill that will reduce costs into the future, and efficiencies across Council.”

 

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