20 October 2015 Coffs Council Declared Fit for the Future

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20 October 2015 Coffs Council Declared Fit for the Future

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.”

The strategies Council adopted to become financially sustainable include:

 

·         The 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 by 2017/2018.

·         The Special Rate Variations (SRV) which will generate an additional $6.2m after three years for community infrastructure maintenance and renewal.

·         Improving asset management to optimise maintenance costs, asset renewals, depreciation and find more efficient ways to deal with the backlog of repairs and replacements.

·         Additional revenue opportunities such as growing the income from Council’s commercial business units and the commercialisation of the organisation’s CityWorks construction division.

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.