Mayor Glen Hartwig will bring down his first budget today and it has been an “arduous” task.
Mayor Glen Hartwig will bring down his first budget today and it has been an “arduous” task.

'No secret around the state of our finances'

A message from Mayor Glen Hartwig on delivery of his council's first budget

 

Today, councillors will consider the adoption of the Gympie Regional Council 2020/2021 financial budget.

It may feel like we've been talking about this budget for some time because this has been the primary focus for both councillors and the organisation.

I don't think there is any secret around the state of our finances. This budget process has been arduous. The more we delved down into and understood the finances, the more our concerns increased. This process took some time, which is why the budget is being delivered today instead of in June.

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This budget is designed to transition the organisation towards financial sustainability.

We've also had some questions regarding our cash position. Yes we have money in the bank; just over $27 million.

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However, as legislated by the state government, this amount is split into two areas - constrained cash and unconstrained cash.

Constrained cash cannot be used for day-to-day operations, such as paying staff, because this money is allocated to government funded projects, and other areas such as the environmental levy which must be put back into environmental projects.

Mayor Glen Hartwig and Deputy Mayor Hilary Smerdon
Mayor Glen Hartwig and Deputy Mayor Hilary Smerdon

Our unconstrained cash balance should be approximately three months' worth and we fall well short of that figure.

I hope you are able to join us for the live feed of today's meeting.

If not, you can watch the meeting at a later date from our Facebook page or the council website.

On behalf of the councillors, I would like to thank all the staff involved in this process as their work well and truly doubled to support us in making the right decisions on behalf of the community.

I know they, as do the councillors, want the best for the organisation and our community.

Mayor Glen Hartwig and new CEO Shane Gray
Mayor Glen Hartwig and new CEO Shane Gray
Gympie Times


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