Council posts operating surplus

WELLINGTON Shire Council posted a $26.1 million surplus for the past financial year.

Council on Tuesday approved its draft 2016-17 financial and performance statements.

Council reported a $26.1 million surplus, compared to a budgeted $11.2 million surplus. Council had a $11.2 million surplus for the previous financial year.

Deputy mayor Allan Hall said council was in a strong financial position.

"In simple terms, expenses are substantially in line with budget," he said.

"Income exceeds budget, driven by three key factors.

"Rates and charges are better than budget by some $1.695 million. In a rate-capped environment, this is a reflective of growth in the municipality.

"Operating grants are better than budget by some $6 million, reflective of government grants being paid in advance of the 2017-18 year.

"The remaining key factor, contributions non-monetary, simply being developers' contributions, are some $5.7 million favourable. This represents assets arising from subdivisions handed over to council."

Council spent $29.2 million on capital works in 2016-17.

"Capital performance, although up from last year, is below budget, reflective of a number of factors, including multi-year projects for example, the Port of Sale and delays associated with community consultation, and additional projects associated with Roads To Recovery," Cr Hall said.

Remedial works at the Kilmany landfill didn't occur as anticipated and now will proceed in the first half of 2018.

The Cowwarr Recreation Reserve clubroom redevelopment was scheduled to begin after the 2017 football season ends, resulting in a $594,000 underspend.

Council received its performance report for August, which showed a $51.4 million surplus for the year to date, compared to the budgeted $45.3 million.

"Rates revenue exceeded budget by some $3.3 million, and capital grants are almost $2 million favourable," Cr Hall said.

"The bulk of the rates revenue is raised at the beginning of the year.

"The favourable variance is reflective of growth in capital improvements across the shire."

Expenditure was $280,000 lower than forecast.

"It's pleasing to see the first two months started on such a positive note," Cr Hall said.

Gippsland Senior
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