Council adopts 2016/17 Annual Report
Bass Coast Shire Council has reflected on its past 12 months with the adoption of the 2016/17 Annual Report at the October Ordinary Meeting.
The Report includes details on Council’s performance on the 39 major initiatives in the 2016/17 Budget, all of which were completed by 30 June 2017. The Annual Report also highlighted Council’s strong financial performance. The operating result for the 2016/2017 year was a $12.51 million surplus, against a forecast budgeted surplus of $0.63 million.
Bass Coast Mayor, Cr Pamela Rothfield, said the results in the Annual Report reflect a productive and successful year that included a much stronger focus on community engagement.
“We are proud to have achieved such a strong result both in terms of completing our objectives and ensuring the organisation remains in a strong financial position. As a first term Councillor in a new Council, the first eight months have seen us accomplish so much in such a short amount of time,” Cr Rothfield said.
“For many of us, it began with planning for our four-year term with our ‘Help shape a better Bass Coast’ campaign throughout January. This was the most extensive engagement campaign Council had ever undertaken and it has set the tone for our next three years and all community engagement going forward.
“I’d like to thank our community for their support in our first year.”
On top of the 39 budget initiatives for 2016/17, Council also delivered 93 per cent of its capital projects – 103 of 110 projects.
Included in the capital program was starting construction of the Bass Valley Children’s Centre; redevelopment of the Wonthaggi Netball Courts; and completion of the Phillip Island Shared Path from Anderson to San Remo, safety improvement works at Agar Road in Corinella and renewal works at the Cowes Foreshore and Thompson Avenue precinct.
Council maintained a strong focus on renewing assets in the last year, with 16 renewal programs totalling over $3.86 million. These projects varied from renewal of roads and paths to community buildings, park and street furniture – and everything in between.
Echoing the Mayor’s comments, Council’s CEO, Mr Paul Buckley PSM also identified improvements in community engagement and financial performance as key outcomes from the last 12 months.
“Council has continued to improve the way we engage with our community, with the Council Plan engagement our largest yet. We also launched our first electronic version of our quarterly community newsletter, Coastell, and grew our following on Council’s social media channels, using tools such as Facebook to directly engage with our community,” Mr Buckley said.
“From a financial perspective, the operating result for the 2016/2017 year (excluding extraordinary items) is approximately $3.5 million or 4.9% positive to budget. This is a great result.
“This outcome has been achieved through higher levels of revenue (other than rates and charges) and supported by significant savings in employee costs ($0.5 million) and materials and services ($0.7 million) when comparing actual results to the budget.
“From the Annual Report, another key measure of financial sustainability is the trend in the underlying result, which identifies whether the organisation is generating sufficient revenue to cover operating expenses, including asset replacement.
“The underlying result for 2016/2017 was a surplus of $2.8 million. It has been five years since Council last achieved a surplus result and while early payment of Commonwealth Financial Assistance Grants had an impact, Council is expecting this positive trend to continue.
“A key strategic indicator is the rate of replacement of our assets as they age and deteriorate. During 2016/2017, Council spent $12.57 million on capital works and asset purchases across the Shire. This included a total of $7.66 million (61%) on renewal works/activities and $4.91 million (39%) on new and upgrade works/activities.
“This trend of investing in our existing assets is a critical indicator of long term sustainability and the 2016/17 result continues to reinforce that focus.”
Mr Buckley concluded by saying he was extremely proud of the results that have been achieved over the year and thanked the new Council, the community and staff for their support and contributions.
“It has been a very promising first year for our new Council and I thank them for their support. I also thank our staff who come to work every day to make a difference, provide efficiencies and services and continue to develop relationships with our community,” Mr Buckley concluded.
The 2016/17 Annual Report is now available to view online at www.basscoast.vic.gov.au/annualreport and in person at Council Customer Service Centres in Wonthaggi, Cowes, Inverloch and Grantville.