FIT FOR FUTURE: The council's  Michael Chorlton.
FIT FOR FUTURE: The council's Michael Chorlton. John Gass

Tweed council fit for future with $11m surplus

TWEED Shire Council is celebrating after finishing the 2016-17 financial year with an $11million surplus.

The 2016-17 financial statement showed the council had made $230million in revenue, while $187million went out in expenditure.

Council financial services manager Michael Chorlton said the result showed council was in a good financial position, despite a year filled with the burden of helping to rebuild the flood-damaged shire.

Mr Chorlton said the positive result was possible because of an early payment from the Federal Government and the consolidation of Tweed Coast Holiday Park accounts.

"What happened in June last year was the Federal Government decided to pay half of the (annual $10m Financial Assistance) Grant for the 2017-18 financial period in the 2016-17 period,” he said.

"So, that had gone into revenue that wouldn't normally happen.

"We also consolidated the accounts of the Tweed Coast Holiday Parks which was $1.8m.”

Mr Chorlton said those two figures combined gave the council a chance to focus on other things, like flood recovery.

"In ball-park figures if you took those two things off, we've had a surplus of around $4m in real terms and that sort of money was due to a couple of things,” he said.

"The flood has impacted us a bit. We're in the recovery phase so we couldn't get through our works program.”

During Thursday's council meeting, councillors congratulated staff on their achievements.

Councillor James Owen said the $11m surplus should be used appropriately to achieve the council's goal to remain Fit for the Future, in accordance with the Federal Government's expectations.

"We can continue with the restoration of our services and infrastructure without severely affecting our Fit For the Future-ness,” he said.

"My concern is that if councillors continue to put undue pressure on our staff and budgets with additional reports that don't need doing and excessive consultation then great results like this will start to become a thing of the past.

"People want to see their money spent in priority areas and I'm sure people would rather have their potholes fixed than spend $175,000 on unnecessary reports and consultation.”



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