Web­site shows coun­cil ex­pen­di­tures

Pilbara News - - Pilbara News - Louise Alling­ham

The City of Kar­ratha has a strong Fi­nan­cial Health In­di­ca­tor score, ac­cord­ing to a new State Gov­ern­ment web­site which pro­vides ratepay­ers with ac­cess to lo­cal gov­ern­ment data.

A Fi­nan­cial Health In­di­ca­tor score is out of 100 and mea­sures a coun­cil’s eco­nomic strength — a coun­cil with a score of 70 and up is con­sid­ered to have sound fi­nan­cial health.

The Shire of Ash­bur­ton scored 96 out of 100 in 2014-15 which is eight points above the City of Kar­ratha and well above the re­gional av­er­age of 73 and State av­er­age of 75.

WA ratepay­ers can now view their lo­cal coun­cil’s fi­nan­cial health and per­for­mance via the new MyCoun­cil web­site.

The web­site gives peo­ple ac­cess to de­tailed in­for­ma­tion about their lo­cal coun­cil’s geo­graphic, de­mo­graphic and fi­nan­cial state, and re­veal how they are spend­ing, man­ag­ing and rais­ing money.

MyCoun­cil is a State Gov­ern­ment ini­tia­tive which aims at strength­en­ing ac­count­abil­ity and per­for­mance of lo­cal govern­ments.

North West Cen­tral MLA Vince Cata­nia said he wel­comed the new ini­tia­tive which al­lows ratepay­ers and res­i­dents to see how their lo­cal gov­ern­ment op­er­ates with the click of a but­ton.

“We want lo­cal govern­ments to be open and trans­par­ent when it comes to spend­ing ratepay­ers’ money,” he said.

“The web­site presents fi­nan­cial data visu­ally, mak­ing it eas­ier to in­ter­pret and make as­sess­ments about coun­cil per­for­mance and im­prove aware­ness of each lo­cal gov­ern­ment's fi­nan­cial health.”

Ratepay­ers can view their coun­cil’s ex­pen­di­ture and com­pare them to other lo­cal govern­ments around the State.

“Com­par­isons with other coun­cils will en­able lo­cal govern­ments to iden­tify ar­eas for con­tin­u­ous im­prove­ment,” Mr Cata­nia said.

In 2014-15, the City of Kar­ratha spent al­most a third of its bud­get on recre­ation and cul­ture, and more than one-fifth of funds on trans­port.

Whereas, Shire of Ex­mouth spent more than half their bud­get on trans­port and fewer than one­fifth on recre­ation and cul­ture.

This data can be used by the pub­lic to in­form them of where their rates are going and whether lo­cal coun­cils are pro­vid­ing value for money.

Data and in­for­ma­tion on the MyCoun­cil web­site will be up­dated an­nu­ally in the first quar­ter of the cal­en­dar year. To view your lo­cal gov­ern­ment’s fi­nan­cial health, ex­pen­di­ture and rate growth, head to mycoun­cil.wa.gov.au.

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