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Whitsunday Regional Council has been given the tick of approval in a state audit report which has slammed the way some Queensland councils plan for the future.
The Queensland Audit Office report – “Forecasting long-term sustainability of local government,” was tabled in State Parliament this week and said most councils planned poorly for the future.
However out of 77 councils, Whitsunday Regional Council was named as one of only 10 given a tick for having developed a sound long-term financial plan.
CEO Barry Omundson said the general theme of the report is that Local Government has much improvement to do in the areas of long term financial sustainability planning and long term strategic asset management.
“We agree with this and already have actions underway consistent with all of the recommendations in the QAO report.
“In regards to net financial liabilities we have reduced these from 52.2% in 2014 to currently sit at 2.3%.
“These are obviously strong results in light of the Department target of 60% and indicate a substantial capacity to service and increase borrowings if required.
“The data in the report shows outstanding improvement on a range of metrics for council in stark contrast to where we were three years ago.”
Mr Omundson said Whitsunday Regional Council were one of only three councils to give the Queensland Audit Office a response to the audit report, the others being the larger councils of Brisbane City Council and Gold Coast City Council.
The QAO report predicted the asset sustainability rate for many councils would worsen in the coming decade.
It also said many councils did not understand how much money they would need in future to maintain roads, water and sewerage.