LET­TERS TO THE ED­I­TOR

Yarrawonga Chronicle - - On The Land -

Moira Shire’s fi­nan­cial per­for­mance

The shire’s an­nual re­port reads well in cer­tain re­spects, but it shows that coun­cil and shire of­fi­cers have again failed to spend, for the ben­e­fit of res­i­dents, or­gan­i­sa­tions and busi­nesses, the con­sid­er­able amounts it col­lects from ratepay­ers.

The shire’s fi­nan­cial re­port for 2017-18 shows a sur­plus (ie a “profit”) of $7.8 mil­lion – that’s al­most one quar­ter of the rates paid to the Shire last year. And it has ac­cu­mu­lated even more than in past years – $35.2 mil­lion – in funds sit­ting use­lessly in bank ac­counts earn­ing a mea­gre rate of in­ter­est. Those funds should be spent on the many wor­thy causes around the shire and in sat­is­fy­ing un­met needs of the shire’s busi­nesses and res­i­dents for new and en­hanced fa­cil­i­ties. The 2017-18 profit fol­lows size­able sur­pluses in the pre­vi­ous three years and funds on hand (cash at bank and term de­posits) have grown from $24 mil­lion to $35 mil­lion over the past three years.

The shire has an­nounced plans for more cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­ture. Let’s hope those plans will be achieved this year. Such plans have been made in the past, but suf­fi­cient projects that would re­duce the ex­cess funds were not com­menced and funds con­tin­ued to ac­cu­mu­late.

The shire has guar­an­teed in­come each year from rates and other sources, so there is no rea­son why it needs to con­tinue mak­ing prof­its and ac­cu­mu­lat­ing funds. The shire is not a busi­ness. It does not need to make a profit for share­hold­ers, but it does need to spend ac­cu­mu­lated funds for the ben­e­fit of shire res­i­dents and busi­nesses. These funds are, af­ter all, ratepay­ers’ money, not the shire’s.

Mick Shad­wick, Bur­ramine

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