Our financial future looks bright

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

An independent review of Council’s long-term financial sustainability has found that Council is doing an extraordinarily successful job in challenging conditions.

Mayor, Cr Dominic King, said the recent review had been conducted by local government experts from the University of Technology Sydney and “identified that our long-term financial sustainability is tracking well due to our low levels of debt, prudent spending and continued efforts to maintain and improve the Shire’s infrastructure and assets.”


University of Technology Financial Sustainability Review – Key Findings

  • An independent review was undertaken by UTS of Bellingen Shire Councils ‘Financial Sustainability’ during first quarter of 2019. Review undertaken by Dr Joseph Drew, Associate Professor, Institute for Public Policy and Governance, UTS Institute for Public Policy and Governance
  • Review analysed Council against 45 unique metrics, comparing Council to 15 peer group Councils, all local governments in NSW and all local governments in NSW with water and sewer businesses.
  • Key finding from UTS:
    • ‘It is our conclusion that Council’s long-term financial sustainability is tracking well. In particular, the improving technical efficiency, low levels of debt, prudent spending, and the steady improvement in asset condition all indicate that Council is doing an extraordinarily successful job in challenging conditions’.
  • Technical Efficiency:
    • ‘Council’s technical efficiency consistently improved over the five years, even though the typical performance in the state has deteriorated over most of the period of analysis’.
    • ‘The trend is positive for Council, which suggests that management and staff have been working hard (and more effectively than the typical council in the state) to contain and even improve on unit cost’.
  • Financial Ratio’s (key highlights):
    • Council has achieved two consecutive operating surpluses in recent years (2017 and 2018). By delivering small surpluses, UTS believe that Council has struck the right balance between achieving surpluses that are too high (inappropriate taxation).
    • Cash flow is low, but adequate. ‘Council has more than adequate liquidity as attested to by both the unrestricted current ratio and cash expense ratio’.
    • Council outstanding debtors are low in comparative terms. ‘The trend for Council’s rates and annual charges outstanding is downwards and exceptional in comparative outcomes. As such, this is an area that should be of relatively little concern to Council decision makers’.
    • ‘Councils current assets outweigh its liabilities. This is a good outcome for future residents and is testament to the prudent and ethical conduct of Council’s finances’.
  • Infrastructure:
    • Council has seen an increase in infrastructure spending over the past three years.
    • ‘Council has been increasing the level of spending on asset maintenance for each of the three years analysed, which is consistent with the profile of a council making prudent and steady improvements to its overall financial sustainability’.
  • Relationship between fees and charges and provision of service (nexus rate):
    • ‘Council’s relative nexus rate suggests that it has done a good job, compared to the typical local government (generally at or above the median), of ensuring that the right types of local government goods are funded with the appropriate mix of fees and taxes’.
  • UTS provided Council with a number of recommendations that Council will pursue.
  • In UTS’s opinion ‘the future looks bright for the residents of Bellingen Shire council and that they can have the utmost faith in the stewardship of council’.



'the future looks bright for the residents of Bellingen Shire Council and that they can have the utmost faith in the stewardship of council’.

UTS

An independent review of Council’s long-term financial sustainability has found that Council is doing an extraordinarily successful job in challenging conditions.

Mayor, Cr Dominic King, said the recent review had been conducted by local government experts from the University of Technology Sydney and “identified that our long-term financial sustainability is tracking well due to our low levels of debt, prudent spending and continued efforts to maintain and improve the Shire’s infrastructure and assets.”


University of Technology Financial Sustainability Review – Key Findings

  • An independent review was undertaken by UTS of Bellingen Shire Councils ‘Financial Sustainability’ during first quarter of 2019. Review undertaken by Dr Joseph Drew, Associate Professor, Institute for Public Policy and Governance, UTS Institute for Public Policy and Governance
  • Review analysed Council against 45 unique metrics, comparing Council to 15 peer group Councils, all local governments in NSW and all local governments in NSW with water and sewer businesses.
  • Key finding from UTS:
    • ‘It is our conclusion that Council’s long-term financial sustainability is tracking well. In particular, the improving technical efficiency, low levels of debt, prudent spending, and the steady improvement in asset condition all indicate that Council is doing an extraordinarily successful job in challenging conditions’.
  • Technical Efficiency:
    • ‘Council’s technical efficiency consistently improved over the five years, even though the typical performance in the state has deteriorated over most of the period of analysis’.
    • ‘The trend is positive for Council, which suggests that management and staff have been working hard (and more effectively than the typical council in the state) to contain and even improve on unit cost’.
  • Financial Ratio’s (key highlights):
    • Council has achieved two consecutive operating surpluses in recent years (2017 and 2018). By delivering small surpluses, UTS believe that Council has struck the right balance between achieving surpluses that are too high (inappropriate taxation).
    • Cash flow is low, but adequate. ‘Council has more than adequate liquidity as attested to by both the unrestricted current ratio and cash expense ratio’.
    • Council outstanding debtors are low in comparative terms. ‘The trend for Council’s rates and annual charges outstanding is downwards and exceptional in comparative outcomes. As such, this is an area that should be of relatively little concern to Council decision makers’.
    • ‘Councils current assets outweigh its liabilities. This is a good outcome for future residents and is testament to the prudent and ethical conduct of Council’s finances’.
  • Infrastructure:
    • Council has seen an increase in infrastructure spending over the past three years.
    • ‘Council has been increasing the level of spending on asset maintenance for each of the three years analysed, which is consistent with the profile of a council making prudent and steady improvements to its overall financial sustainability’.
  • Relationship between fees and charges and provision of service (nexus rate):
    • ‘Council’s relative nexus rate suggests that it has done a good job, compared to the typical local government (generally at or above the median), of ensuring that the right types of local government goods are funded with the appropriate mix of fees and taxes’.
  • UTS provided Council with a number of recommendations that Council will pursue.
  • In UTS’s opinion ‘the future looks bright for the residents of Bellingen Shire council and that they can have the utmost faith in the stewardship of council’.



'the future looks bright for the residents of Bellingen Shire Council and that they can have the utmost faith in the stewardship of council’.

UTS