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Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Jenny Whitney said the financial future of the Council is ontrack to be back in surplus in the 2015-16 financial year, as we have consistently stated.
Mayor Whitney said the upcoming budget for the 2014-15 financial year is also looking positive,and this is only due to the difficult decisions this administration has had to make about theCouncil’s finances.
“The Whitsunday Regional Council reports to Queensland Treasury Corporation (QTC) and theDepartment of Local Government on a weekly basis about our current and ongoing financialposition and we continue to enjoy the full backing of both the Local Government Minister DavidCrisafulli and QTC,” she said.
“The corrective action Council has taken over the last nearly two years has stabilised the financial and operational position of the Whitsunday Regional Council.
“QTC forecasted that the previous Council was heading towards a negative $110 million cashposition by 2015-16.
“Because of the tough decisions the current Council has made QTC now forecasts that Council will be financially sustainable, with a return to operating surplus by the end of the 2015-16 financial year. [Source: Whitsunday Regional Council – Financial Assessment, Queensland Treasury Corporation, March 2013]
Mayor Whitney said this has been a mammoth effort by the current administration which has had to implement a number of hard decisions to achieve this, including:• Borrowing $10 million from QTC• Reassigning and redeploying staff• Negotiating extensions of contract payments• Imposing a ratepayer levy• Freezing capital works projects• Delivering 2011 NDRRA projects within scope• Finding Information Technology efficiencies
Mayor Whitney said these difficult choices were made by Council at a time when many bigbusinesses and Governments of all sizes across Australia were tightening their belts in a difficulteconomic environment.
“The Whitsunday Regional Council is no different to this and made the decisions that needed to be made to improve our bottom line and bring stability to our finances and operations,” she said.
“Because of this we find ourselves in a much better situation than we did a year ago, we’re not out of the woods yet, but we’re on track to be back in surplus by the 2015-16 financial year.
“Throughout this process Council’s service delivery has not been affected and no staff have been sacked.
“Council hopes ratepayers understand we are using their ratepayer funds in the most conservative and fiscally responsible manner, to get the whole region out of this mess.
“Council has always maintained that we will also have to sell some land assets to help the financial bottom line.
”The current Council has always been clear and consistent when presenting the financial figuresand the measures we are putting in place to correct the debt issues left by the previous Council.
“This Council provides more public information on our finances than any other Council inQueensland.
“Any interested residents are encouraged to attend a Council meeting where monthly financialupdates are provided; full reports of these are also available on our website,” she said.
Mayor Whitney said on a personal level I am looking forward to moving past this financial messand delivering for the future of the Whitsunday region.
“I am looking forward to finishing this term and enjoying the fruits of our hard work in the next term of Council,” she said.
“I thank our senior management team for their ongoing diligence and hard work in correcting theerrors of the past, so we can progress as a region and get on as a Council in delivering for thepeople of the Whitsunday region,” she said.
MONTHLY FINANCIAL REPORT - DECEMBER 2013 - presented at January 29th Councilmeeting
Executive Summary, Queensland Treasury Corporation report, Whitsunday RegionalCouncil – Financial Assessment, March 2013Can be found at: http://www.whitsunday.qld.gov.au/en_US/2013/2014-budget
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