Council presents Frequently Asked Questions
Published on 30 August 2022
Council is pleased to present to the community its Frequently Asked Question (FAQ’s) document to provide responses to all questions submitted via our online registration form for the Delivery Program and Budget Roadshow Sessions, as part of the exhibition of the draft 2022/23 integrated planning and reporting documents for 2022/23 and beyond.
Federation Council Mayor, Cr Patrick Bourke said as detailed at the sessions, Council's intent was to collate all questions and provide responses that could be made available to the entire community, including those residents that missed any of our eight Roadshow and Drop-in Sessions.
“Council hopes the information contained in our FAQ’s provides clarity and factual information to support our strategic and financial sustainability journey,” he said.
“We thank the community for their engagement thus far and look forward with anticipation to further engagement as we continue our ongoing journey to achieve the visions and outcomes sought by the Community in the Community Strategic Plan 2022-2032 via the many supporting plans and strategies including the Long Term Financial Plan (LTFP). ”
Council embarked on its current and ongoing financial sustainability journey over three years ago when CT Management were engaged in mid-2019, to lead in the development of Federation Council's first new Long Term Financial Plan (LTFP). The first version of this plan was adopted in 2020/21 and has been updated each year with a draft exhibited, and also updated at other stages as required through each year, for example to reflect new major grant income being received, including for new or updated projects.
Prior to this, the Long-Term Financial Plan was a combination of the two former Councils (Corowa and Urana’s) Long Term Financial Plan, since being formed in May 2016, as required in order to deliver services immediately on the creation of Federation Council.
As part of the development of the new LTFP, Council Staff also completed Business Plans including mapping and costings for the 45 service areas of Council.
Council currently has 45 services that it delivers. Of these, 31 are customer focused (external) services and 14 are support (internal) services required mainly to deliver the external services and also ensure Council meets legislative requirements and community expectations.
The Business Service Mapping and costing works undertaken had various outcomes including -
- to ensure services are more clearly defined into individual service listings,
- to ensure the investment in services is targeted at the correct customer segment,
- to allow efficiencies to be found on an ongoing basis where possible,
- to allow the true cost of each service to be more clearly identified to ensure the public can be more aware of Councils services and their costs, and Council can then on an ongoing basis, engage with the community to ensure informed decisions on service delivery can be made as and when considered appropriate.
- to allow services to more clearly aligns with the organisational Management structure (this was updated as part of and parallel to this process), and
- to ensure Council services support the achievement of the outcomes sought in the Community Strategic Plan (10 year) and Four-Year Delivery Program and the Annual Operational Plans, including any related strategies.
Mayor Bourke said Council understands very clearly where their financial risks are, and have a plan for the next 10 years to ensure the Council continues to provide a high level of services to the community.
“Our Long-Term Financial Plan relies upon ensuring our services are efficient and that we plan for the maintenance of required assets,” he said.
“While the Merger Funding has delivered some excellent facilities for our community, we need to ensure we can afford to maintain and operate them.
In closing, Mayor Bourke said that Council had some challenges to continue to ensure it remains financial sustainable into the future, but is proud of the way Council has balanced these challenges with delivering so many projects and services valued by the Community. Mayor Bourke said if the SRV is approved as part of the adopted LTFP, combined with ongoing efficiency and savings measures, including services reviews, it will provide an increased investment into the assets from 23/24, and a clear pathway to an operating surplus including depreciation in the year 27/28 and beyond. Planning well for maintenance and operations of our assets was critical.
“These plans present a vision for the long-term and a strong starting point for us to continue to have conversations with our community about service expectations and subsequent costs associated with them,” he said.
“The time to act is now, no one wants to pay more in any situation in life, but for Council to move forward and address the many issues the community has been raising for years, this in my opinion has been proven to be the sensible road to follow.
I note many objections received throughout our exhibition process and many of those that attended the demonstration at the Corowa Civic Centre were rural ratepayers and I think that speaks volumes for the dissatisfaction within the rural community at present with the condition of roads.
I ask you all to continue to work with us, remain engaged and stay on the journey with us, so we can all be a part of the solution towards financial sustainability and building an organisation that meets the needs and expectations of our community within our financial capability. These are never easy conversations to be having and they are tough decisions , but it is one that we cannot shy away from and must continue to work together on. I think this Council and the previous one proved that it is not a Council that shies away from the harder issues to tackle”
Mayor Bourke said if residents have any further questions, to please contact Council through the various communication channels.
View the FAQ’s and other supporting information.