The community is invited to have a say on the services provided by Shoalhaven Council to help guide decisions about achieving financial sustainability into the future.
The Service Review Program follows an independent, expert review of Council’s finances which shows a forecast annual budget shortfall and recommends a range of measures to achieve financial sustainability.
At its meeting on 20 November 2023, Council resolved to implement a number of strategies in response to the independent review, including achieving a target of $3 million in efficiency savings over the next four years, reviewing service levels as part of an ongoing Service Review Program, and to consider proposed options for a Special Rate Variation to be determined next year.
As Council moves towards a sustainable future, the Service Review Program will play an important role in managing its budget.
“Council’s long term financial sustainability will need a multifaceted approach, consideration needs to be given to where Council could improve efficiencies,” said Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Dunshea.
“Given the range and standard of services that Council currently delivers to the community is beyond what the current budget allows, we may have to look at what services should be considered for change,” Mr Dunshea said.
A list of 80 direct services including the provision of libraries, swimming pools and community buildings, through to building and maintaining roads, footpaths and cycleways as well as legislated functions such as food inspections and development application assessments are all referenced in a services review survey now open for feedback.
Participants are asked to choose 10 services that should be the initial focus for review and possible service level reduction.
Council is also seeking feedback on what people consider the top 10 most valuable services that Council provides to its residents, businesses and visitors.
A reminder also that Council is seeking feedback on the draft Resourcing Strategy prior to 10 January 2024, which outlines how Council will manage its finance, assets and people to achieve the community’s vision and goals.
Comments and themes from the Service Review survey will be summarised for Council consideration, alongside Council’s 2023 Community Satisfaction Survey results and findings from the recent Liveability Census.