Council coffers have received a boost with the announcement of more than $1.3 million in funding under the Federal Government’s Financial Assistance Grants scheme.
The $1,340,794 grant is $565,594 above what Council had budgeted to receive under its first FAGs allocation, the Federal Government’s annual contribution to local governments which was frozen for three years in the May budget.
Mayor Julia Leu said the funding windfall further strengthens Council’s financial sustainability.
“We have already proven with our first full-year budget that this Council is in a healthy financial position and very capable of delivering on services as well as a comprehensive capital works program,” Mayor Leu said.
“This additional windfall which Council will receive from the Federal Government for the next three years will enhance our ability to be innovative and leverage the funding to provide the maximum benefit for our communities.”
The report for the first month of the 2014/15 financial year also shows Council is within budget.
Revenue from ferry fares during July exceeded budget by $53,000 while licences exceeded budget by $46,000, both healthy signs for business confidence in the Douglas Shire.
Overall the financial report for July showed an operating result $1.3 million above budget, however the report is based on actual expenditure with committal expenditure for this period not reflected in the figures.
Mayor Julia Leu said the FAGs windfall is also not reflected in the July figures, further strengthening Council’s healthy balance sheet.
“Council is delivering on an $8.9 million capital works budget this financial year with major projects including the Daintree Gateway and landscaping of the Port Douglas highway intersection already commenced,” Mayor Leu said.
“Our Works program is being rolled out with major improvements being carried out to roads across the Shire.
“Staff have also been progressing submissions to the Queensland Reconstruction Authority as a result of Cyclone Ita with submissions to date totalling almost $11 million.
“We have faced some huge challenges as a new Council but we have responded with purpose and developed strategies across Council to ensure the Douglas Shire prospers.”