The forecast surplus of $14.40 million going into the end of the year has been exceeded.
The forecast surplus of $14.40 million going into the end of the year has been exceeded.

Council surplus $2.5m over

THE Southern Downs Regional Council's latest financial performance report shows a year-to-date surplus up $2.54 million on its original budget forecast.

A report presented by officers to yesterday's Corporate Services Committee meeting, shows the forecast surplus of $14.40 million going into the end of the year has been exceeded, with overall revenue also above forecast by $1.84 million or 4.39%.

Rates revenue is likewise higher than was expected, up no less than $710,000 as of the end of November, thanks in part to what a council spokeswoman said were increases - as opposed to reductions - in some State Government land valuations following landowners' requests for review.

"Changes to property configurations, such as a large lot being split into smaller lots which result in additional rates being charged are another factor," she said.

"Properties being allocated to different categories because their primary use has changed, such as a mining lease being converted to grazing land, will also have an effect on rates revenue."

But the financial position gets even better, with the outsourcing of the collection of industrial waste resulting in fees and charges revenue rising $20,000, with the council now charging waste companies to use its facilities.

"Government grants and subsidies are $360,000 above their year to date target due to a change in the Grants Commission methodology which has increased the allocation for Southern Downs Regional Council," the officers' finance report states.

"The increased allocation will be brought to account in the December budget review."

The report also shows contract works revenue is above its target due to an increase in the works being performed for Main Roads under the department's Road Maintenance Performance Contracts (RMPC) program.

Capital grants from higher levels of government are over target by $540,000 due to the timing of the grants and contributions received, as well as an additional $20,000 in River Trust contributions for the Condamine River Flood Study.

Overall operating expenditure is slightly under the year to date target with a variance, down $160,000, with just over 25% of the capital works budget of $16.8 million having been spent so far during this financial year.



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