The final report into
the NSW Government’s assessment of the strength and effectiveness of local
government in the state has declared that Coffs Harbour City Council is ‘Fit
for the Future’.
“We have been working
hard for several years to ensure that Council will be financially sustainable
in the future,” said Steve McGrath, Council’s General Manager. “As an
organisation, we’ve had to take some tough decisions and be very determined to
meet our future financial goals. This result is a reflection both of our elected
Council’s leadership and the support of the entire organisation.”
strategies Council adopted to become financially sustainable include:
Transformation to Sustainability (T2S) Program – a restructure and review of
Council’s operations that is forecast to make savings of up to $3.2m per year
Special Rate Variations (SRV) which will generate an additional $6.2m after
three years for community infrastructure maintenance and renewal.
asset management to optimise maintenance costs, asset renewals, depreciation
and find more efficient ways to deal with the backlog of repairs and
revenue opportunities such as growing the income from Council’s commercial
business units and the commercialisation of the organisation’s CityWorks
Coffs Harbour City
Council is not included in the list of councils named for amalgamation in the final
‘Fit for the Future’ (FFTF) report. Instead, the report proposes that Coffs
Harbour - together with Clarence Valley, Bellingen Shire and Nambucca Shire
Councils – will become members of a regional Joint Organisation.
Joint Organisations are
proposed to have three core functions - regional strategic planning, working
with State Government and regional leadership and advocacy. They may also
undertake optional functions such as regional service delivery and sharing
skills and best practice.
According to the IPART
report, councils that are considered to be in a position to be ‘fit for the
future’ by 2019/2020 will have preferential access to grants, loans and other
funding from the NSW Government.
“Having reached this
goal, we don’t intend to lose sight of the final destination which is to become
a financially sustainable council that will continue to deliver services to the
community into the future,” added Mr McGrath.