Wingecarribee Shire Council’s Interim Administrator Viv May PSM has called for an independent review into Council’s finances following the presentation of the Draft Annual Financial Statements.
In addition to referring the Council’s 2020/21 Draft Annual Financial Statements for external audit as per the Local Government Act, Mr May recommended a ‘desktop comparison’ be undertaken on several former financial decisions.
“I’m particularly focused on Council’s 2016 Investing in our Future Special Rate Variation application,” he said.
“I’ll be suggesting the independent auditor look at the application in reference to the Fit for the Future program Council submitted to the State Government and comparing it with the organisation’s long-term forward financial plan.”
The Interim Administrator announced the recommendations at Wednesday 13 October’s Ordinary Meeting of Council.
“Council has a responsibility to appropriately invest in the Shire’s infrastructure and value its assets accordingly,” Mr May said.
“Residents should feel confident that they’re getting value for money considering the cumulative per cent rate increase they’ve undergone the past four years.”
“I want to ensure that Council delivers on the promises it made to the Shire” Mr May added. “Residents continue to tell me the roads are still deteriorating despite the rate increases.”
Details from Council’s Draft Annual Financial Statements for the 2020/21 financial year showed Council’s overall investments had grown to $192.4 million, its net asset position was valued at $1.9 billion and its loan liability was $23.7 million.
Council also reported a deficit of $707,000 for the 12 months ending 30 June 2021 with COVID implications, unplanned terminations and redundancies and independent reviews and audits cited as contributing factors.