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Warrumbungle Shire Fit for the Future

Committed to real and meaningful reform to strengthen the system of local government in NSW, the Minister for Local Government, Hon Paul Toole MP, announced this week Warrumbungle Shire Council is Fit.


Reassessing the Fit for the Future proposal submitted by Council in July this year, the Office of Local Government confirmed the financial sustainability, efficiency, infrastructure and service management criteria have been met.


The Fit assessment is based on Warrumbungle Shire Council implementing a number of strategies to improve financial sustainability.  This included the introduction of a stormwater levy to all town property owners from July this year, and addressing the backlog of capital infrastructure upgrades.


General Manager, Steve Loane, congratulated the commitment from staff at Warrumbungle Shire Council.


“The Fit assessment indicates we can continue to deliver services to meet the unique needs of each rural community across the Warrumbungle shire,” said Mr Loane.


A range of Improvement Action Plan strategies were submitted to the Office of Local Government as part of the reassessment submission, aimed to improve efficiencies and identify revenue streams to Council over the next ten years.


Supported by the previous term of Council, the Improvement Action Plans included a staff restructure over the next five years to provide annual savings of $300,000, a Stormwater Levy providing annual revenue of $105,000, and either a 10% cost saving by reviewing service levels to the community or a corresponding Special Rates Variation to realise $700,000 annually.


“The Improvement Action Plans proposed aim to realise efficiencies and identify revenue streams to improve our financial sustainability,” commented Mr Loane. “The Stormwater Levy was implemented earlier this year, whilst the staff restructure and service levy review will commence in 2017.”


The Fit for the Future appraisal links with one of the largest capital infrastructure budgets for the Warrumbungle Shire. An average spend of $1,652 per Warrumbungle resident in capital works and an operating surplus in the previous financial year of over $6 million has also contributed towards meeting the Fit for the Future financial sustainability criteria.


Auditor for Warrumbungle Shire Council, Paul Cornall of Forsyths Financial Services, presented the Financial Statements last month to Council, highlighting the positive trend in capital grant funds and improved management efficiencies.


However, Mr Cornall also announced that the state government has changed the legislation overseeing the process by which auditors are engaged for local government.


“From 2017 the Audit Office will control the auditing process in perpetuity,” announced Mr Cornall at the November Council meeting. “Forsyths has been contracted by the Audit Office for another two years to audit the Financial Statements for Warrumbungle Shire Council.”  


Warrumbungle Shire Council are preparing the 2017/18 budget, which is expected to be available for community input from April next year.  

To read further on our Fit for the Future journey, please visit the Fit for the Future page.


Last Updated: 07 Dec 2016