DOUGLAS Shire Council’s latest Annual Financial Statements have exceeded budget forecasts and received a clean bill of health from the State’s auditors.
Council tabled the 2017-18 Annual Financial Statements, which shows a 45 per cent improvement on the budgeted operating result, at a Special Council Meeting in Mossman today.
Mayor Julia Leu said the operating result puts Council in prime position to achieve its aim of financial sustainability in the 2019-20 budget.
“This is a huge financial achievement that is a significant step towards a goal that has been four and a half years in the making,” she said.
“Council has driven a really strong culture of prudent financial management while delivering key projects and upholding a high level of service to the community.
“This is a real testament to that dedication.”
The Queensland Audit Office (QAO) indicated it will issue Council an unmodified audit opinion and provide audit clearance.
Council’s result shows an operating deficit of $778,000, compared to a budgeted $1.4m deficit, while the organisation remains debt-free.
The progress is huge given Council recorded a $5.2 deficit due to accounting for de-amalgamation costs in June 2014.
Mayor Leu said the scene was set for the final stretch of a five-year journey.
“Financial sustainability is this Council’s top priority so future generations can enjoy the benefits of a strong and capable Douglas Shire,” she said.
“I’m very proud to say we are well on the way to a budget surplus next financial year.”