Council plans adopted for 2018-2019

Media release - 4 July 2018

A continuation of priority service delivery, combined with measurable improvements to corporate systems and processes will be the driving factors of the 2018-2019 Operating Plan, adopted at last week’s Council meeting.

The Plan for next financial year focusses on infrastructure improvements and maintenance such as investing $14.8 million in the roads and bridges program, a further $2.2 million in recreation facilities and more than $12 million on water services.

Director of Corporate and Commercial, Stephen Mitchell, said the 2018-2019 Operating Plan includes several actions that have been identified in the community grant priorities survey and the community catch-up program.

“We are actively seeking grant funding to support delivery of new playgrounds and public amenities at Back Creek South West Rocks and Frederickton. This is on top of the grant supported facilities already confirmed for Gladstone, Clyde Street and Crescent Head CBD.”

Throughout the year Council will work with the community to seek input on several significant plans and strategies including an Arts and Cultural Plan, a Community Infrastructure Strategy and concepts for revitalising the Crescent Head day visitor area.

While these priority services make up a significant part of the Council’s $96 million operational and capital expenditure, there are also plans to conduct a detailed review of each Council business area. The reviews will look at the level of service Council is providing, the community expectations, potential efficiencies, improvements and cost savings that can be achieved.

“Council’s new executive and management team have undertaken significant financial reengineering in recent months. Time and resources have been invested in linking the budget allocations more closely to the outcomes in the Operating Plan and ensuring the costings are more accurate than they have been in the past.

“Budgeting of this scale is complex and reliant on many moving parts, but at this stage the updated Long Term Financial Plan presented to the June Council meeting shows a deficit in the general operating fund of between $3 and $5 million each year over the 10-year Plan,” said Mr Mitchell.

Scenarios and projections in the Long Term Financial Plan consider options for addressing financial sustainability and reducing the deficit.

Projects for next financial year include a review of fees and charges, implementing technology-based improvements to make services more efficient and tightening procurement and spending controls within projects.

“Closing the gap between the expenses and the income is not a new issue for this Council or for many around NSW.

“There is work to be done on creating long term permanent options for reducing how much Council spends to deliver the most appropriate levels of service and finding ways to increase revenue,’ said Mr Mitchell.

The adopted budget and planning documents are available on Council’s website under the Corporate Planning tab on the homepage