MidCoast Council Focusses On Financial Sustainability

MidCoast Council

Councillors are determined to tackle long term economic challenges head on, adopting a Financial Sustainability Action Plan at today’s Council meeting.

“The action plan is in response to an independent review we commissioned last year,” said Mayor Claire Pontin.

“The review showed that while Council’s cash position is sound, we are currently not in a position to keep up with the long-term maintenance on our $5 billion worth of assets and infrastructure.

“We are not going to leave this issue to future generations. We’ve sought this review to help us understand our position and determine a way forward.”

The issue of long-term financial sustainability is not new or unique to MidCoast. A growing number of regional and urban Councils are facing the challenges of inflation, higher interest rates, and sustained lower-than-average residential and business rates.

Financial sustainability is a historic issue, inherited from previous councils. Current financial reporting standards require Councils to take asset deterioration into account, which while good practice is difficult, Mayor Pontin commented.

MidCoast Council has joined calls for broader reform to ensure that adequate resources are provided when the State Government shifts responsibility for infrastructure, services, and regulatory functions to local government.

“We want to ensure we can maintain our infrastructure over the long term and also have sufficient cash reserves for unexpected events,” explained Mayor Pontin.

“The five-part action plan includes continuing to ensure we use our limited funds efficiently; ensuring our operations are lean and efficient and deliver value for money to the community; managing our assets across their life cycle; reviewing revenue sources to align with expenses and service levels; and generating sufficient unrestricted cash.”

The Financial Sustainability Action Plan 2024 – 2027 and the full AEC Financial Sustainability Review are both available on Council’s website at https://www.midcoast.nsw.gov.au/financial-sustainability

/Public Release. View in full here.