28 April 2016 Assets and Financial Sustainability Targeted in Draft Delivery Program

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28 April 2016 Assets and Financial Sustainability Targeted in Draft Delivery Program

The Coffs Harbour community is being encouraged to provide feedback on Council’s Draft 2016-2020 Delivery Program. The document - which includes the Draft 2016-2020 Budgets, 2016/17 Operational Plan and 2016/17 Fees and Charges - is on public exhibition from May 2 until May 30 2016.

General Manager, Steve McGrath, said the documents map out the community’s priority needs and ensure resources are available to support the plans.

“The Draft 2016-2020 Delivery Program maintains the direction we’ve established in recent years to make Council financially sustainable so we can continue to deliver the services expected of us,” said Mr McGrath.

The 2016/17 budget includes the final implementation year of a Special Rate Variation (SRV) for ‘General Income’ that was approved by the NSW Government in 2015 and the ongoing Transformation to Sustainability (T2S) Program.

The SRV incorporates the State Government’s ‘rate pegging’ allowance and to minimise impacts on ratepayers, Council has placed a three-year price freeze on water and sewer annual charges so that the overall increase in annual bills in 2016/17 is limited to 3.9% for the average urban ratepayer.

Coffs Harbour Mayor, Councillor Denise Knight, said the injection of rate variation funding will help Council deal with a backlog of public works needed to ensure services remain at levels demanded by the community.

“These include road rehabilitation works worth an additional $677,156, building renewals worth an extra $492,468, other transport asset works that add up to a further $194,935 and Parks and Recreation works worth an extra $266,754,” said Cr Knight.  

“Other major projects in the draft 2016/17 Budget include the continuation of the Jetty Foreshores Project ($9.2m funded by $4.6m in Federal grant funds and Council’s reserve funds) and CBD Masterplan Works ($1.97m funded through the CBD Special Rate) and the ongoing Bridge Renewal Program ($887,000). These are projects identified as community priorities – and people can be confident we’re getting on with the job.”

The T2S project is addressing Council’s long-term financial viability by restructuring the organisation and re-engineering its operational processes to save money, maximise efficiencies, build productivity and generate better outcomes. Changes to date mean that T2S is on track to generate ongoing annual savings of at least $3.2m for the organisation within three years.

The draft documents – and details of how to make a submission - are available on Council’s website at www.coffsharbour.nsw.gov.au/onexhibition  

Printed copies can also be viewed at Council’s Administrative Centre and at local libraries. The closing date for submissions is Monday, May 30 2016.