I wish to confirm that Bass Coast Shire Council has incurred and is projected to incur substantial deficits (excess of operating expenses over operating income) for a sustained period of five years as follows:
Year ended June 30, 2013 $3.448m
Year ended June 30, 2014 $8.542m
Year ended June 30, 2015 $2.432m
Year ended June 30, 2016 $5.730m
Year ended June 30, 2017 $4.233m (projected).
Total deficits (five years) $24.385m.
In other words, in excess of $24m in deficits over five years, highlighting council’s lack of capability to deliver new projects and renew, upgrade or expand its existing assets.
It also means that council has foregone opportunities to obtain government grants due to its lack of resources to provide funds to complement grant applications.
For a moment, just reflect on what could have been done for our community with an extra $24m in resources, and more so, in the event matching grants were obtained from Federal and State governments.
Perhaps, an extra $50m could have been channelled into capital projects in the past five years.
We are working diligently with the CEO and administration to turnaround this parlous state of affairs in order to place council on the path of financial sustainability so that we can take a much more positive approach to capital project proposals going forward.
Council has both a revenue and expenditure challenge, and significant financial transformation and change is required to enable delivery of major and minor capital projects and continuation of essential services.
I am confident we can effect this quantum turnaround and deliver surpluses and financial sustainability from 2018 to 2021 and in the longer term with the assistance and support of councillor colleagues, CEO and administration.
We pledged to provide strong financial leadership, and hopefully this demonstrates our commitment to deliver a high level of governance and financial management.
In the meantime, I ask the community to be patient, whilst we work through significant Council Plan and Strategic Resource issues for mutual benefit.
Cr Les Larke, Bunurong Ward.
Pain before gain