Draft budget to focus on core values and improved financial management

01st Jun 2021

Armidale Regional Council’s Draft Operational Plan and Budget is now on public exhibition. The draft details the proposed activities and budget and supporting rates, charges and fees for the 2021-2022 financial year.
The 2021-2022 financial year will also see the introduction of the harmonisation of rates between the former Armidale Dumaresq and Guyra Shire Councils proposed to be undertaken over four years.
Armidale Regional Council General Manager James Roncon said it is important for residents to have their say on the proposed increases to fees and charges, the budget and financial direction of Council. Community consultation is also being undertaken on the proposed four year rates harmonisation implementation framework.
“This budget is the first step of a long and disciplined road in maintaining levels of service to the community and improving Council’s financial position,” said Mr Roncon.
“The Council’s financial position is dire but this year’s budget is about bringing Council to a point where we can deliver basic services and set a foundation that addresses the requirement of the Performance Improvement Order that Council is operating under.
“This also means we need to keep saving money to build up our available funds for at least the next three or four budgets to enable Council to address the condition of some of our assets that are deteriorating.
“At the moment we are predominantly relying on State and Federal grants to address deteriorating assets and fund new ones. This isn’t sustainable and Council needs to be able to have cash reserves available to contribute to improving our assets or for any unexpected situation.”
Council’s financial position has been impacted by the recent drought, bushfires, floods and the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021-2022 Draft Operational Plan and Budget attempts to mitigate these impacts as far as possible without cuts to services. The budget position will be supported with strategies to ensure costs are tightly controlled and financial management across the business is a key priority.
Council is encouraging the community to have your say on The Draft Operational Plan and Budget 2021-2022 until Thursday 24 June, 2021. The suite of documents on public exhibition include:
• Draft Operational Plan and Budget 2021-2022 (including the operational and capital budget);
• Draft Revenue Policy 2021-2022 (including proposed four year rates harmonisation implementation framework); and
• Draft Fees and Charges 2021-2022
These documents and a number of fact sheets highlighting proposed changes to rates and charges are available to view on Council’s your say online engagement hub. Yoursay.armidale.nsw.gov.au
Hard copies will also be available at the Civic Administration Buildings in Armidale and Guyra and at the libraries.
Council will be hosting two information sessions. In Armidale on Tuesday 8 June from 5.30pm at the Council Chambers and in Guyra on Wednesday 9 June from 5.30pm in the Guyra Council Chambers. Staff will present the Draft Operational Plan and Budget 2021-2022 and conduct a Q&A session.
Registration is essential via yoursay.armidale.nsw.gov.au if you would like to attend in person or you may choose to watch the sessions live on our YouTube channel.
Submissions are invited and must be addressed to the General Manager, Armidale Regional Council, via post to PO Box 75A, Armidale NSW 2350 or sent by email to council@armidale.nsw.gov.au Submissions can also be dropped off at either the Armidale or Guyra Civic Administration Buildings.