THE Queensland Audit Office has given Douglas Shire Council’s latest Annual Financial Statements a clean bill of health.

Council tabled the 2019-20 Annual Financial Statements, which detailed the $1.3 million impact of COVID-19, at a Special Council Meeting in Mossman today.

The financial impact of COVID-19 has left Council finishing the financial year with a $828,353 deficit, down from the projected $86,915 surplus.

Douglas Shire Mayor Michael Kerr praised staff for their diligent management of Council’s books.

“In their closing report, the auditors congratulated Council for improving its internal processes and its smart management of its cash reserves,” he said.

“The global pandemic has created a hostile environment for financial management, and despite this, I am proud to say we have been able to continue to offer sensible relief measures for our community.

“While the full impact of COVID-19 won’t be known for some time, ratepayers can feel at ease knowing there is a hard-working team steeled for the whatever comes our way.”

Lower travel numbers across the Daintree Ferry and various relief measures to support businesses has contributed to the operating deficit.

The financial statements are available to view here.