The closing date for submissions to the updated draft Resourcing Strategy 2022-26 including the Long-Term Financial Plan 2024-2034 has been extended by two weeks to allow community more time to provide feedback about the strategies proposed to sustain the operations and services that Council provides in the immediate and long term.
At its Extra Ordinary Meeting on 20 November, Council endorsed a number of actions to improve the financial sustainability of the organisation in response to a comprehensive independent financial sustainability review commissioned by Council which identified that the impacts of consecutive natural disasters and the COVID pandemic during the last five years had significantly depleted revenue and increased operational costs. Additionally, the unprecedented rises in inflation have further increased the gap in its revenue and expenditure, through additional costs of construction and operating costs.
As some of the measures to improve its financial position, Council adopted to review its levels of service delivery, rationalise land and facilities assets and meet a $3 million efficiency target over four years. It also resolved to engage with the community about levels of service and proposed options for a Special Rate Variation.
“Council appreciates the feedback that is coming in through submissions to date and in response to a number of requests for further time to make a submission, including representations from Local Members of Parliament on behalf a ratepayers, I have agreed to extend the timeframe for community feedback into these incredibly important decisions that the Council need to make to secure the financial stability of the organisation,” said CEO Stephen Dunshea.
“Recognising that this is a difficult time of the year for many to consider the implications of these decisions, we are willing to accommodate this extension,” Mr Dunshea said.
Since the community consultation period began on Thursday 23 November, Council has received 1,036 completed survey responses and 48 written submissions about the SRV options and the draft Resourcing Strategy documents. So far, 342 surveys have been completed as input for the service level review process.
A report will be provided back to Council on 29 January 2024, where it will consider the proposed efficiency measures and Special Rate Variation options and determine if it proceeds with an application to IPART by its deadline of 5 February 2024.
The community can now make submissions about the updated draft Resourcing Strategy 2022-26 and its suite of documents (including the Long-Term Financial Plan, Workforce Management Planning Strategy, Asset Management Strategy and Information Communication Technology Strategy), the proposed options for a Special Rate Variation and Council service levels by 5pm, Wednesday 24 January.