A key highlight of the 2017/2018 budget is Council’s determination to keep tight control over operating costs. Despite the local government CPI increase being calculated at 1.74 % in 2017, Council was able to achieve a $287,000 decrease in overall total cash operating costs over the previous year.
This has been achieved even though the level at which services are provided to the community remains unchanged. Some notable actions implemented by Council are as follows.
- Council at its General Meeting on Tuesday adopted a new organisation structure effective 1 July 2017. A key highlight from the new structure is that Council has decreased the number of departments currently operating and is amalgamating core work portfolios to achieve greater efficiency of resources and effectively reducing the number of Executive Managers from four to three.
- Maintaining tight control over how Councils funds are expended. A new purchasing policy was implemented whereby council harnesses its purchasing power to achieve greater value for money and ensures open and effective competition. The policy also had a significant focus on the development of competitive local business and industry.
- Council has a very active internal Business Improvement Team in place with representation across Council. The objective of this team is to review better and smarter management practices to ensure the cost to supply services are minimised.
Mayor Ramon Jayo said “as a result of efficiency initiatives in the current financial year, a great example being the successfully trialling of new solar power generation systems at the Hinchinbrook Aquatic Centre complex to reduce electricity bills, Council were able to reduce 2017/2018 budgets for Consultancies, Fuel, Electricity and also a number of other areas.”
He also said that “ the drive for better efficiencies and cost effectiveness will continue over the 2017/2018 financial year in the face of increasing costs in areas outside of its control, for example, government statutory charges, increased the cost of construction vehicle registration and cost of environmental compliance to name a few”.
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