District Council of Yankalilla

05/15/2024 | News release | Distributed by Public on 05/14/2024 20:15

District Council of Yankalilla revises the 2024-25 Annual Business Plan & Budget following a strong commitment to Council’s sustainability

The District Council of Yankalilla returned to the Chambers at a Special Council Meeting on 14 May 2024 to revise the 2024-25 draft Annual Business Plan & Budget, including the Long-Term Financial plan and to recommence the public consultation.

Council is looking to demonstrate an enduring commitment to financial sustainability and armed with advice from ESCOSA, its external Auditor and its own Audit & Risk Committee, it is resetting the draft for the next financial year to reduce the likelihood of future rate increases being out of step with the sector. The revised increase is comparable to a large number of metropolitan and regional Councils.

During the Elected Member Information & Briefing Session held on 7 May 2024, detailed discussions occurred in relation to changes since the draft Annual Business Plan & Budget and Long-term Financial Plan were approved for Community Consultation. These changes included necessary operating projects/costs and an unexpected 0.3% increase in Adelaide All Groups CPI. Despite efforts to absorb other increases, the additional shift strained resources, prompting consideration of options by Elected Members.

A consensus emerged to halt the current budget process and recalibrate income for the next financial year. This decision, coupled with the introduction of quarterly strategic finance workshops, aims to improve alignment between income and service delivery so as to also mitigate the need for significant rate increases in subsequent years. This move also assists Council in returning to operating surplus sooner than previously forecast. Following the session, three Elected Members moved to call a Special Council Meeting to implement these actions, aligning with regulatory requirements under the Local Government Act 1999.

Mayor Darryl Houston expressed his commitment to Council's sustainability stating, "We need to maintain what we have and re-establish our core functions of Council". The Mayor looks forward, "to speaking with the Community through both the Annual Business Plan and the Strategic Plan engagement processes" and was pleased to announce that "over the coming months, Elected Members will work together on a 3-year budget and have service level discussions, which will also analyse the assets Council owns and maintains". The Mayor also reiterated a statement he made in 2023 that, "The Elected Members and Executive Staff are aiming to set us up for future and sustained success".

The Revised Draft 2024-25 Annual Business Plan & Budget, including the Long-Term Financial Plan, continues to focus on delivering essential services, maintaining and upgrading existing infrastructure and reducing debt. CEO Nathan Cunningham emphasised the Council's commitment to the community, stating, "The amended draft budget position helps to ensure we can continue to maintain our high-quality local environment for future generations and armed with appropriate funding, we can deliver our customer-centric service levels. Our Council is committed to honouring the expectations set by our community and we will continue to look for more efficient ways to provide the services which are wanted and needed."

Council will be seeking feedback from the community during a public consultation period to commence 17 May 2024 and conclude 11 June 2024. Feedback can be provided online at https://www.yoursayyankalilla.com.au/2024-25-draft-abp-budget, through written submission or by participating in the Community Conservations that will be held at the locations below:

Focussing on long-term success - drop-in style Q&A conversations

Tuesday, 28 May 2024, 4-7pm at Second Valley Hall

The Year Ahead: An Online Community Conversation

Monday, 3 June 2024, 5:30-7pm held online via Zoom

The Year Ahead: Public Community Meeting (as required by legislation)

Friday, 7 June 2024, 4 - 5:30pm at Chambers, District Council of Yankalilla

The District Council of Yankalilla reiterates its commitment to working closely with the community, delivering quality services and ensuring a sustainable financial future. With the release of this year's Revised Draft 2024-25 Annual Business Plan & Budget, the Council continues its dedication to meet community expectations, consolidate services and prioritise key needs while maintaining strong financial management practices.