ON THE UP: Southern Downs Regional Councillors are continuing to improve the   council's financial position.
ON THE UP: Southern Downs Regional Councillors are continuing to improve the council's financial position. Kerri Moore

Council sustains budget stability

SOUTHERN Downs councillors have this week confirmed the council's financial position is continuing to improve.

The announcement follows $5.6million added to the council's cash reserves last month.

Shadow portfolio councillor for governance and finance Rod Kelly commended the council team on the result from the latest finance report to October 31.

"The net operating position is $3million over the estimated position for the financial year to date,” Cr Kelly said.

"Expenditure is $2.7million under the year-to-date estimate with employee costs approximate- ly $1.6million under, and materials and services $1million under the year-to-date budget,” he said.

"Of key note are the working capital, operating surplus, net financial liabilities and interest coverage ratios, which are all pleasingly green.

"This is now a regular monthly trend, which demonstrates the financial sustainability that (the) council needs to maintain now and into the future.”

Deputy Mayor Jo McNally also praised the efforts of all members of the council team for helping improve the council's financial position.

Cr Kelly also commended council chief executive officer David Keenan, the council finance manager and staff for their understanding of the significance of meeting the budget and returning a surplus.

Cr Kelly said strong results needed to continue in the coming months to ensure the council could provide services to rate- payers and pay its debts.

"We have seen great improvements in the financial health of (the) council, as reflected in the recent 2015-16 Annual Report,” he said.

"Southern Downs Regional Council has a huge responsibility to its ratepayers and communities across the region, and performs many activities in providing the level of services that it does to the community.

"To do this, (the) council needs money and it shouldn't be forgotten that (the) council is a business, and like all other businesses, it must remain liquid and have financial sustainability.

"We have seen significant reductions in expenditure and at last there are now funds set aside in reserves.

"However, it must be stressed this has to continue well into the future.”



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