Shoalhaven Council will be rephasing approximately 60 capital works projects planned for 2023-24 into future financial years as one of a number of measures being used to sustain its finances for the immediate and long term.
On Monday night, Council considered the quarterly performance and budget report (July to September) and endorsed a revised capital works program that had been reviewed as part of the organisation’s stringent approach to monitoring and managing its financial position to sustain its operations and services to the community.
A total of 447 construction projects remain programmed to continue or commence during 2023-24 totalling $288 million, including Shoalhaven Water and Waste Services projects, bridges, amenities buildings, roads, parks and open space. Less than five per cent ($13 million) of capital projects are funded from Council’s general fund, with the remainder funded by government grants and restricted funds from Shoalhaven Water and Waste Services for specific projects funded through their business-specific income.
“These are difficult decisions that need to be made in challenging times and is part of our efforts to stabilise the budget, improve the financial position of Council, and to restore Council’s unrestricted cash position, which is very much needed to enable us to respond to emergency situations or other unexpected events.
Already this month the Shoalhaven has experienced another declared natural disaster, bringing the total to 14 such events in the last four years,” CEO Stephen Dunshea said.
“While grant funding is critical to building and improving our asset base, we also need to factor in the ongoing operational costs and maintenance of these facilities into our long-term financial plans so that they are consistently maintained to the standard expected by residents and our visitors,” Mr Dunshea said.
Council will continue to refine the 2023-24 capital works projects in preparation for drafting the 2024-25 budget.
Highlights of the July to September Delivery Program and Operational Plan Report identifies that 136 of the 151 actions and projects are on track, delivering on the community’s vision set out in the 2032 Community Strategic Plan.
A detailed copy of the report can be viewed as an attachment to Council’s Business Paper for the Ordinary Meeting 11 December 2023.