Council adopts ‘optimal' scenario to guide development of new Long Term Financial Plan

Queanbeyan City Council will publicly exhibit a Financial Strategy and Policy that will guide the development of Council’s new Long Term Financial Plan.

The Financial Strategy and Policy has been informed by a review of Council’s asset and financial sustainability by Professor Percy Allan and Associates and a review of water and sewer pricing structures.

“The review of Council’s assets and financial sustainability, along with the water and sewer pricing review is part of a larger ‘stocktake’ project to ensure Queanbeyan City Council is well positioned to meet the NSW Government’s Fit for the Future benchmarks and to set the foundations for its next Resourcing Strategy,” Queanbeyan Mayor, Cr Tim Overall said.

The exhibited Financial Strategy and Policy includes the optimal scenario as recommended by Professor Allan. The optimal scenario proposes that by the 10th year of the Long Term Financial Plan (2024-25):
•    Council’s net financial assets are at more modest levels (below 20% of own-source operating revenues),
•    Council’s operating surplus ratio rises to the recommended floor of 0% (versus a deficit of 8% in 2014/15),
•    Council services are maintained in real terms; which would meet Fit for the Future requirements,
•    Infrastructure stock will have grown by 5.4% a year which would be well in excess of annual resident growth of 1.5%,
•    Council’s infrastructure backlog ratio will have been contained to 2% (instead of rising to almost 7% under Existing policy).

The optimal scenario recommends modest increases to rates and fees and charges over a 10-year period and that service spending remain constant.

“Council was presented with a number of scenarios and it was recommended, and agreed, that Council exhibit the optimal scenario which is the fairest for both Council and the community,” Cr Overall said. “Despite some recent media reporting, there will not be a significant increase to rates and charges under the Financial Strategy. Rates revenue is recommended to increase by 2.9% per annum, with much of that growth to come from property growth in the Council area. Council look at its mix of projected general, waste, water and sewer charges in the optimal scenario and considered it more affordable than the existing Long Term Financial Plan.”