12/13 Draft Budget Released

Essentially Council's 'draft budget', the Operational Plan is part of Council's Integrated Planning and Reporting Framework; a legislative requirement in NSW which now requires Council's management plan and other existing documents to be replaced with one long term strategy.

Combined with a Draft Delivery Program - which outlines the activities to be completed by Council over a four year period to meet its Community Strategic Plan goals - the draft Operational Plan is the twelve-month action map for the 12/13 financial year.

'The Draft Operational Plan reflects Council's focus on improving financial sustainability and aims to maintain Council's stable Working Capital position,' Wakool Shire General Manager, Bruce Graham said. 

'We are very focused on building our financial reserves to enable the replacement or maintenance of key infrastructure including town infrastructure, tourism infrastructure, community halls and roads,' he added.

The draft documents estimate operating revenue of $17.520 million and operating expenses of $17.462 million for the coming year.

Mr Graham said the activities forecast in the plans directly respond to the key priorities of the community, as outlined in its Community Strategic Plan.

'The Integrated Planning and Reporting process has allowed us to assess our direction and reaffirm our priorities as a Council.'

'As such, we continue to focus on the infrastructure renewal task - roads, bridges, halls, community facilities, and water & sewerage infrastructure - as our ability to afford to renew these assets in as timely a manner as we would prefer remains constrained,' he said

The draft budget is based on an average rate revenue increase of 3.19%- slightly less than the State Government's 12/13 rate pegging limit.

Capital expenditure for the year is projected to be $9.689 million, which includes $7.449 million for infrastructure works.

Mr Graham said that the adoption of Council's new Asset Management Plans through the Integrated Planning and Reporting process is enabling Council to better evaluate infrastructure management.

'The plans will assist us to clearly define the service levels required to adequately maintain our assets and offer the community a transparent guide to our decisions and priorities regarding infrastructure renewal,' he said.

The Draft Operational Plan and Delivery Program also outline further delivery of Council's Stormwater Strategic Plan objectives, timber bridge replacement, flood restoration works and continued preparation of the new Local Environmental Plan (LEP).

The documents are available for public comment until 22 June 2012 and you can view them online.