SDRC off Trea­sury watch­list

Stanthorpe Border Post - - NEWS - — Michael Nolan

SOUTH­ERN Downs

Re­gional Coun­cil was re­moved from a Trea­sury Cor­po­ra­tion watch­list af­ter it slashed its debt bur­den by a third over the past two years.

Mayor Tracy Do­bie said re­moval from the watch­list meant the coun­cil could bor­row money again.

“While there are no plans to bor­row, that weight is off us,” she said.

Shortly af­ter tak­ing of­fice in 2016, the cur­rent coun­cil re­solved to pay about $2 mil­lion off its prin­ci­pal debt each year. Debt went from about $31 mil­lion in

2016 to $22 mil­lion in the first quar­ter of the 2018-19 fi­nan­cial year. Part of the re­duc­tion came from a bud­get sur­plus, while the bulk came from land sales.

“We sold off coun­cil land to break the back of the debt so it would be­come eas­ier for us to man­age,” Cr Do­bie said.

“It was about tidy­ing the prop­erty port­fo­lio up and ra­tio­nal­is­ing it.”

With less debt, Cr Do­bie said the coun­cil would have an eas­ier time keep­ing rate in­creases to a min­i­mum and sav­ing for capital works like the Wal­lan­garra Ur­ban De­sign Frame Work.

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