Dou­glas aims to be fully free of debt

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

DOU­GLAS Shire Coun­cil will be com­pletely debt-free be­fore the end of the fi­nan­cial year af­ter re­solv­ing to fully re­pay loans held with the Queens­land Trea­sury Cor­po­ra­tion (QTC) which were at­trib­uted to Coun­cil dur­ing the dea­mal­ga­ma­tion process.

Coun­cil cur­rently owes QTC just un­der $2 mil­lion for loans taken out by Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil to fund in­fra­struc­ture projects in the Dou­glas Shire dur­ing the amal­ga­ma­tion pe­riod.

Mayor Ju­lia Leu said ratepay­ers will be saved al­most $400,000 over the re­main­ing life of the loans as a re­sult of re­pay­ing the loans early and be­com­ing a debt-free Coun­cil.

“This is a huge mile­stone that demon­strates sound strate­gic fi­nan­cial plan­ning by this Coun­cil,” Mayor Leu said.

“Due to the dili­gence and fi­nan­cial plan­ning skills of our staff, we’ll be a debt-free Coun­cil less than four years af­ter dea­mal­ga­ma­tion which is an achieve­ment many de­trac­tors thought we would never re­alise.

“To achieve this in such a short amount of time and re­alise a sig­nif­i­cant sav­ing for ratepay­ers is tes­ta­ment to the long-term pru­dent fi­nan­cial man­age­ment of this Coun­cil.”

In more good news for Coun­cil’s fi­nan­cial sus­tain­abil­ity, the lat­est monthly fi­nan­cial re­port shows an im­prove­ment of more than $400,000 on the bud­get.

Op­er­at­ing rev­enue for the first nine months of the 2016/17 fi­nan­cial year ex­ceeds bud­get ex­pec­ta­tions by $240,000, with op­er­at­ing ex­pen­di­ture un­der bud­get by $227,000.

“Once again, these sav­ings are largely due to the ef­forts of our staff to ob­tain value for money on be­half of our com­mu­ni­ties com­bined with sup­port for a strong lo­cal econ­omy,” Mayor Leu said.

“We are on track to achieve our ul­ti­mate aim, which is a bud­get sur­plus by 2019/20, and re­main com­mit­ted to this goal.”

Pic­ture: SUP­PLIED

The five-me­tre python in White Rock

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