Your Guide To Kiama Council Budget

Kiama Council


Kiama Council has released its Draft Delivery Program and Operational Plan 2024-25, and an updated Long Term Financial Plan 2024-34.

The community will have its chance to provide feedback through a series of public meetings in the coming weeks.

Responding to the Notice of Intention to Vary (extend) the Performance Improvement Order

Mayor Neil Reilly praised the efforts made by Kiama Council’s executive and staff, elected Councillors, and committee members in preparing the critical plans and budget needed to guide the council towards financial sustainability.

“There has been a lot of debate and discussion, investigations, reviews, consultation and consideration over the last two years, since the scale of our financial challenges became apparent, firstly by ourselves and then OLG,” Cr Reilly said.

“But it was a necessary and worthwhile investment, given we now have a road map for the next two years, paving the way to a sustainable future for Kiama Council and the community we serve.”

“It’s pleasing to have the unanimous support of all my fellow Councillors in endorsing these critical documents for presentation to our community.”

Cr Reilly emphasised the importance of realistic expectations from the community.

“Now is not the time for people to be making demands of Council we cannot afford.”

“That’s the message I will be taking to the upcoming community meetings.”

Council CEO Jane Stroud added the financial performance reflected marked improvements.

“On paper we’ll record a surplus of $2.6m,” Ms Stroud said.

“We need a marked improvement and a complete break with long-standing tradition of Council running budget deficits. This is a start toward the target in 2026/27.”

Strategic Direction for 2024-25

Chief Operating Officer Joe Gaudiosi said the 2024-25 financial year marked the beginning of short-term budgetary measures aimed at achieving long-term financial sustainability.

“The Delivery Programs and Operational Plans for the next two years must be conservative to meet the conditions of the NSW Government’s Performance Improvement Order,” Mr Gaudiosi said.

“We’ll be delivering the essentials and maintaining assets, but that’s about it.”

“That includes a very modest $13.9 million capital works program, which is primarily funded by grants and reserves.”

Immediate Challenges and Steps Taken to Improve Position

To address immediate financial challenges, the council has outlined several key measures:

• Reducing the use of consultants and contractors

• Centralizing marketing, communications, legal and training development budgets

  • Exploring additional revenue streams
  • Rightsizing the organisation and reviewing current operating models

• Continuing the review of key services

• Re-evaluating the delivery of essential and non-essential or desirable services

• Identifying reinvestment opportunities

“We’ll be identifying reinvestment opportunities by developing business cases on key catalyst sites such as the Council Administration Centre, Works Depot, Waste Depot, old Havilah Place Retirement Village, and Spring Creek Precinct,” Mr Gaudiosi said.

“This all has implications for our community, in terms of what they can expect from Council over the next couple of years, and what Council will look like in 10 years.”

A Balanced Budget – But Bare Bones Approach

For the 2024-25 financial year, the council plans a modest $13.9 million capital works program, primarily funded by grants and reserves.

This approach will help the council record a paper surplus of $2.6 million but due to capital grants of $3.2million.

The focus will be on delivering the essentials, with limited capacity for additional projects or services.

Future Challenges for 2025-26 Budget

Looking ahead to the 2025-26 budget, the council aims to:

• Attain a net surplus position

• Progress the PIO requirement of eliminating structural deficit by 2026/27

• Establish a balanced budget

Achieving these goals will involve complex and challenging solutions, including further reviews of service delivery, potential discontinuation of non-essential services, ongoing efforts to improve efficiency and reduce costs including right sizing the organisation and reviewing staff establishment to revenue ratios.

How to Get Involved or Learn More

Community involvement is crucial for the success of these plans.

Kiama Council is holding community meetings to explain the short-term and long-term implications of the proposed strategies and to gather feedback from residents.

The meetings are scheduled as follows:

• Thursday 30 May (11am) – North Kiama Neighbourhood Centre

• Monday 3 June (5.30pm) – Joyce Wheatley Community Centre

• Tuesday 4 June (2pm) – Gerringong Town Hall

• Thursday 6 June (11am) – Jamberoo School of Arts

For those unable to attend the meetings, online submissions can be made until 5pm, Sunday 19 June at:

The Draft Delivery Program and Operational Plan 2024-25, and Long-Term Financial Plan 2024-34 are provided in a new streamlined format, making them easier to understand.

This includes an overview of various council teams, their activities, and specific projects.

Updated performance measures have also been included to track progress.

/Public Release. View in full here.