City of Wodonga

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Council supports no rate cap variation for 2017-2018

Wodonga Council will accept the 2 per cent rate cap set by the Victorian Government and not pursue a rate cap variation for the 2017-2018 year following a decision at the council’s January meeting.

It follows savings of $1.9 million made through efficiencies in 2015-2016, which the council has allocated to address issues facing present needs and growth in sport participation in the city including netball and hockey facilities.

Wodonga Mayor Cr Anna Speedie pointed to three significant factors in supporting the motion with no borrowings, continued growth and continued review of all services.

Notably, the deferral of the Baranduda Fields project has had signification implications on the council’s 10-year plan with borrowings no longer required and the project strongly linked to any proposed submission to the Essential Services Commission.

Due to the city’s growth, the council has an expanding rate base with rates revenue increasing $300,000 above budget in the present year which will flow through to future years.

Additional savings of about $300,000 annually in waste disposal costs have also been realised due to the positive take-up of the 3-bin system.

Cr Speedie commended the work previous councils, the CEO and her team had done to ensure the council was in a strong financial position.

“Without the reviews, cost-saving measures and hard work each week by council teams, our financial pictured would look very different,” Cr Speedie said.

“This is a significant achievement given the breadth of delivery of new infrastructure and projects we have seen delivered over the past 18 months right across Wodonga.

“Our new challenge is to continue this work to ensure that future budgets and council are sustainable and can delivery community projects into the future given the cumulative effect of rate capping.”

While the council can remain cashflow positive with the current 10-year financial plan for the next four years, due mainly to the carryover of the 2015-2016 $1.92m surplus, it is expected that from 2020-2021 onwards significant funding shortfalls will begin to be experienced and the council will be required to review its services and capitals works as well as seek alternative revenue sources to ensure its ongoing sustainability.

The council will continue to exercise prudent financial management through improved efficiencies and practices, cost controls and close monitoring of capital projects.
 


Last updated: 24-01-2017

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