Council’s early cash injection
Edward River Council has received an earlier than expected cash boost of almost $2.7 million with the Commonwealth Government’s decision to partially pay the Financial Assistance Grants ahead of schedule.
These are usually paid in quarterly instalments starting from mid-August, but council has already received half of its 2018-19 allocation.
General manager Adam McSwain said the allocation is already budgeted for in council’s operational plan for the coming 12 months, with the money to be folded into its overall capital works program.
He said while welcome, the early payment won’t alter council’s works program because they cannot fit any more in it.
However, he said the early payment could benefit the council and community in other ways.
‘‘Getting the money in the bank account early can accrue more interest, which could be put into other projects down the line,’’ Mr McSwain said.
‘‘Having the money there is good for cash flow, and to keep projects flowing through.
‘‘The money is allocated in two components, with this early payment including $1,911,716 in the general component and $763,571 for local roads.
‘‘We’re told this represents about half of our annual allocation, with the rest to be paid in quarterly instalments over the next 12 months.
‘‘We knew that no council would receive less than in the 2017-2018 year, so the amount is what we expected.’’
Council’s Operational Plan includes a $15.7m capital works program, which will be delivered alongside the already announced Stronger Communities Fund Major Projects Program.
Mayor Norm Brennan said the capital works will see a lot of improvements to road, water and sewer infrastructure.
He said it includes a $1.9 million rural road reseal and resheet program and a $1.3 million water and sewerage program, which will deliver around $750,000 worth of water main rehabilitations, as well as the replacement of the Charlotte St and Hardinge St water mains.