Douglas Shire Council has reached within 5 per cent of its budget in the first month of operations.
The council was required to adopt a budget for the remaining financial year within one month of de-amalgamation from Cairns Regional Council on January 1.
While there is some distortion in Douglas Shire Council’s reported figures for January due to the fact all revenue and expenses had to be evenly spread over six months for the first budget due to logistical constraints, in real terms the budget is right on track.
Douglas Shire Council General Manager Corporate Services Darryl Crees said the January figures were an endorsement of council’s financial management capabilities.
“As council has no trend data as of yet because it was our first month of operations, staff have put a lot of effort into anticipating operating revenue and expenses for the first six months in a very short period,” he said.
“It is very early days but to be able to contain the budget within 5 per cent in the first month is very heartening, particularly when this is the month council pays its annual fleet vehicle registration and insurances and there is less revenue coming in from other sources.”
Mayor Julia Leu said the new council’s focus on fiscal responsibility was paying off.
“After taking into account the redundancy costs which were paid out in January, along with grant and water income yet to be realised, we are very close to our forecast after one month which is pleasing,” she said.
The financial report will be enhanced over the coming months with Douglas Shire Council to negotiate the final split of financial statements from Cairns Regional Council by the end of next month for the period between July 1 – December 31, 2013.