Bellingen Shire Council’s financial sustainability reviewed and approved


BELLINGEN Shire Council’s financial sustainability has been reviewed and approved by the NSW Audit Office and Chartered Accountants Thomas Nobel & Russell, according to an independent report tabled at last week’s Ordinary Council Meeting.

Bellingen Shire’s 2020/21 Financial Statement Audit Results successfully passed a recent audit review activity, with Council exceeding five of the six criteria used by the NSW Audit Office to assess Council’s Financial Statement Audit Results against.

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A Council spokesperson said, “It’s a rewarding achievement, as Council has continuously pursued a range of opportunities to improve its long-term financial position by reviewing depreciation accruals, service levels, fees and charges and grant advocacy activities to ensure the efficient delivery of essential community services.

“For example, Council has successfully secured $26,350,076 in grant funding which has resulted in $30,063,503 worth of Shire-wide projects to be delivered, and Council has reported a total of $34.4M in cash and investments for the year, an increase of $5.4M on last year’s total.

“Additionally, as Council reported a net operating deficit before capital grants and contributions of -$1M, in comparison to the original budgeted deficit of -$1.7M, this improvement on current long-term financial forecasts projects a return to an operating surplus by the year ending 30 June 2024.

“Ultimately, to maintain the operational capacity required to deliver the essential services our community relies on, in parallel with balancing the needs of the organisation with our community’s aspirations is challenging, but it’s a challenge we’re well placed to meet now and into the future.”

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