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Whitsunday Regional Council Financial Turnaround Complete

By Mark Beale

The 2014-15 financial year, is the year that Whitsunday Regional Council completed its financial transformation, after 2 and a half years of difficult decisions made by the majority of Council.

These decisions by the majority of Councillors realigned the entire Council and finalised the Whitsunday and Bowen Shire amalgamation from a financial perspective. Completing the turnaround has been reaching a major milestone via the finalisation of the $10 million emergent funding loan to State Government of Queensland and Queensland Treasury Corporation nearly 12 months ahead of schedule.

Mayor Cr Jennifer Whitney said that Council has received correspondence from the Department of Local Government and the Queensland Treasury Corporation commending Council on its commitment to making the difficult decisions and improving the overall finances of the Council.

“Council’s debt reduction strategies and austerity measures have delivered us the desired outcome thanks to a strong emphasis on constraining expenditure to create a more efficient Council,” Mayor Whitney said.

“The success has also been achieved by Council re-focusing its expenditure through asset management planning, making difficult decisions around revenue as well as capping staff numbers and keeping our employee benefits cost stable over the past 3 years,” the Mayor said.

“Council has restored confidence with the State Government of Queensland, the Queensland Audit Office and the Queensland Treasury Corporation, I would like to thank them for allowing us the opportunity to deliver on our commitments and implement strong and sustainable financial practices within Council, “I would especially like to thank the community for their patience during the past few years while we implemented the cost saving measures that needed to be made. Our Council is firmly focused on providing confidence across the entire local government area. Council’s financial stability is a huge contributor to regional confidence and positivity, Council is now well placed for a strong future in relation to organisational and regional development which will deliver for the community; we have a bright future ahead, “Finally, I would also like to thank the majority of Councillors, our CEO, CFO the Senior Management team and all staff for making the hard decisions over the last 2 and half years and changing our Council’s financial culture.”

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