Annual Report given thumbs up
Bass Coast Shire Council has reported on its performance over the past 12 months, with the adoption of the 2017/18 Annual Report at the October Ordinary Meeting last Wednesday.
The Annual Report demonstrates Council’s achievements against the objectives and activities set out in the Council Plan 2017-2021.
The Report shows Council delivered a positive financial result in 2017/18, with a $10 million surplus compared to a budgeted surplus of $3.9 million. The Report also highlights some of Council’s other achievements, including the completion of 116 capital works projects and successful advocacy for the Shire.
After comments were made at Council’s September 2018 meeting, which claimed the Victorian Auditor-General was carrying out an investigation into Council's audited financial reports and its on-going financial sustainability, written clarification was sought from the Auditor-General. Council can confirm there is no investigation underway by the Victorian Auditor-General’s Office into its audited financial statements or its ongoing financial sustainability.
Bass Coast Mayor, Cr Pamela Rothfield said the results in the Annual Report reflect a successful and productive year, highlighted by a focus on closer collaboration with the community.
“We are proud to have achieved such strong financial results this year, as well as some fantastic results for the whole community,” Cr Rothfield said.
“Following on from last year’s consultation in the development of the Council Plan, Council has continued to extend its focus on engaging with the community.
“Council has been working with the community on many issues ranging from new off-leash beach areas for dogs in Kilcunda and Cape Paterson, to developing the Active Bass Coast Plan, and collecting the community’s feedback in the development of the Cowes to Stony Point Car Ferry Business Case.”
The Mayor said the close work with the community allowed for the identification and advocacy of Bass Coast’s top priorities.
“This collaboration with the community has led to several successful outcomes, totalling over $155 million of investment from State Government towards the Wonthaggi Hospital redevelopment, new senior campus for Wonthaggi Secondary College including a Highball stadium and a major road upgrade for Phillip Island Road/Back Beach Road intersection,” Cr Rothfield said.
The 2017/18 budget initiatives included major projects such as the extension of the Surf Parade shared path to Veronica Street in Inverloch, construction of the Phillip Island Football Netball Club rooms, new floodlighting for two soccer pitches at Newhaven Recreation Reserve and redevelopment of change rooms at Dalyston Recreation Reserve.
Council’s CEO, Paul Buckley PSM said the biggest project of the year was the refurbishment of the Wonthaggi Union Community Arts Centre.
“The $2.2 million project included replacing all 424 of the 35 year-old seats in the auditorium, lighting and rigging upgrade, installation of a lift to boost accessibility and new solar panel system, amongst many other improvements to the Centre. The positive feedback from the public following this project shows the Centre is an important community asset which is being well used and enjoyed,” Mr Buckley said.
Bass Coast is leading the way with the introduction of an organics waste service and new three-bin system, in September 2017.
“Since then, the organic waste collection has resulted in a 77 per cent diversion of kerbside waste from landfill over 12 months providing significant environment and economic benefits,” Mr Buckley said.
“We also have very low contamination rates - below one per cent for organic waste and below six per cent for recycling, a testament to the way the community has embraced the new system.”
Mr Buckley explained that from the Annual Report, a key measure of financial sustainability is the trend in the underlying result, which identifies whether the organisation is generating enough revenue to cover operating expenses, including asset replacement.
“The underlying result for 2017/18 was a surplus of $1.5 million. This is a great outcome, following on from the success of 2016/17, when Council achieved a positive underlying result for the first time in five years,” Mr Buckley said.
The 2017/18 Annual Report is now available to view online at www.basscoast.vic.gov.au/annualreport and in person at Council Customer Service Centres in Wonthaggi, Cowes, Inverloch and Grantville.