MidCoast Council deputy mayor, Alan Tickle said he would encourage members of the community to read the financial sustainability report presented at this month's ordinary meeting.
The MidCoast Council Financial Sustainability report will be available to read when it is place on public exhibition for 28 days in the new year.
Cr Tickle congratulated author, corporate services director, Steve Embry for its easy to understand language.
"It gives an understanding not only of the depth of challenges that is faced by this council but it gives an understanding of the various rations and reporting requirement under the integrated planning modelling of council," Cr Tickle said.
"This council has not shirked or swept under the carpet the significant challenges it has financially."
Looking at the long term financial plan, the report identified there was an $18 million financial deficit year-on-year over the next 10 years, Cr Tickle said.
"That in itself is unsustainable, it is a challenge that has to be met by this council and indeed the community.
"We cannot ignore inflationary pressures that all sections of the economy throughout Australia and the world are faced with."
Since the $18 million figure was arrived at some months ago, inflationary pressures were likely to be pushed even further which adds to the reason why this council needs to meet regularly, he said.
Financial sustainability is something we have been talking about for some time and I see in this paper a clear process that we can work through to start looking at the various issues we have to look at in a sequential and sensible process that will ultimately bear fruit.- Mayor, Claire Pontin
We need to ensure we are stringent in our oversight of council's financial position and how we track in terms of the long term financial plan, Cr Tickle said.
"We have a challenge in front of us and council is up for the challenge."
A financial sustainability strategy will be developed over the coming months to provide the community and elected councillors with a guide on how council can plan to return its general fund to a sustainable surplus position within a four-to-six-year timeframe.
The 2022-23 budget has a projected deficit, which includes an additional $7.5 million to address urgent road maintenance for local roads.
Councillors have indicated they want to see the deficit turned around during the financial year.
The financial sustainability strategy will outline a program of actions in categories such as:
"It is not business as usual and we are taking action from day one," Jeremy Miller said as he too congratulated council staff on the report.
"Financial sustainability is something we have been talking about for some time and I see in this paper a clear process that we can work through to start looking at the various issues we have to look at in a sequential and sensible process that will ultimately bear fruit," mayor, Claire Pontin said.
"I think it is a good roadmap for the future."
Councillors will attend a series of future workshops to enable the strategy to be finalised in 2023 and exhibited for community comment in conjunction with the 2023-24 integrated planning and reporting documents.
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