In­creased rate in­come but rise in ex­penses

Warragul & Drouin Gazette - - LOCAL LIVING -

A fi­nan­cial re­port show­ing in­creased in­come and a stronger cash balance has been re­ceived by Baw Baw Shire after ex­ter­nal au­di­tors signed off on coun­cil’s fi­nan­cial po­si­tion and per­for­mance in­di­ca­tors.

The re­port pre­sented to coun­cil showed its 2018 in­come was al­most $2.5 mil­lion more than last year, but ex­penses also were $3.5 mil­lion more.

Key fi­nan­cial data out­lined in the re­port showed coun­cil would re­ceive $93.2 mil­lion in­come while ex­penses to­talled $78 mil­lion, leav­ing a sur­plus of $15.2 mil­lion.

Coun­cil’s cash balance for the year is $39.6 mil­lion, up from $36.8 mil­lion last year, while to­tal eq­uity has in­creased from $640 mil­lion to $679 mil­lion in the 12-month pe­riod.

The re­port said in­creased in­come was largely due to rates from sup­ple­men­tary val­u­a­tions.

Cap­i­tal spend­ing was un­der bud­get dur­ing 2017/8 due to de­lays in works as­so­ci­ated with the West Gipp­s­land Art Cen­tre, new early learn­ing cen­tre in War­ragul and a num­ber of road projects that have been car­ried for­ward to the 2018/19 fi­nan­cial year.

The com­pre­hen­sive re­sult of $39.9 mil­lion was $23.747 mil­lion higher than the 2017, largely be­cause of a $24.6 mil­lion ad­just­ment in as­set val­u­a­tions.

The reval­u­a­tion of land, build­ings, bridges and ma­jor cul­verts fol­lowed a com­pre­hen­sive re­view of coun­cil’s as­sets that in­cluded an as­sess­ment of as­set con­di­tion.

As­set val­u­a­tions showed land as­sets to be val­ued at $110.3 mil­lion; $73 mil­lion for build­ings; and, $23 mil­lion for bridges and ma­jor cul­verts.

The per­for­mance state­ment out­lined coun­cil’s per­for­mance against a range of ser­vice de­liv­ery, fi­nan­cial and sus­tain­able mea­sures.

The re­port said fi­nan­cial per­for­mance mea­sures re­flected a favourable re­sult. Loans and bor­row­ing com­pared to rates were down 15 per cent.

Cr Danny Goss said coun­cil’s fi­nan­cial po­si­tion was the re­sult of “con­tin­u­ous hard work over a long pe­riod of time by staff.”

He said coun­cil’s in­come was up, mainly be­cause of sup­ple­men­tary rate in­come.

But, he said ex­penses also were up be­cause of an ad­di­tional $1.2 mil­lion for Trafal­gar land­fill af­ter­care re­quire­ments and $1.2 mil­lion more in em­ployee costs be­cause of one off re­dun­dancy pay­ments and ma­ter­nity leave pay­ments.

Cr Goss said the fi­nan­cial state­ment showed a $15 mil­lion sur­plus, while the cash flow state­ment showed where money had been spent.

“The money has been spent on cap­i­tal works…it is money to pro­vide services that ratepayers ex­pect,” he said.

Cr Goss said the per­for­mance state­ment set out in­di­ca­tors that com­pared coun­cil’s per­for­mance with other met­rics.

Cr Mikaela Power said the sur­plus had been used to de­liver services to ratepayers.

She said util­i­sa­tion of aquatic fa­cil­i­ties was up 12 per cent which showed peo­ple were us­ing the new leisure cen­tre to its full ex­tent.

An­i­mal man­age­ment pros­e­cu­tions are down 67 per cent, which Cr Power said showed ed­u­ca­tion cam­paigns and a push to get an­i­mals reg­is­tered were work­ing.

She said par­tic­i­pa­tion in ma­ter­nal and child health services by Abo­rig­i­nal chil­dren was up 19 per cent. “It is good to know they are get­ting a good start to life.”

Cr Power said the per­for­mance in­di­ca­tors also showed the Vic­to­rian Civil and Ad­min­is­tra­tive Tri­bunal had up­held 57 per cent of coun­cil de­ci­sions “which shows we are mak­ing good de­ci­sions and when they get to VCAT, they are up­held.”

Cr Tri­cia Jones said the fi­nan­cial re­port showed coun­cil was in a po­si­tion to meet its as­set re­newal obli­ga­tions, while also meet­ing loan bor­row­ings.

Mayor Joe Gauci said the fi­nan­cial re­ports had been re­viewed by in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal au­di­tors as well as the Vic­to­rian Au­di­tor Gen­eral’s Of­fice.

“There’s no way any facts and fig­ures can be hid­den in there. In a rate capped en­vi­ron­ment, I think we are do­ing very well,” he said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.