Council stays focussed on a Recovery Action Plan

Date

Tuesday, 13 October 2020

Release

Council resolved tonight to continue to focus on the finalisation of its 100-Day Action Plan to financial recovery, seek further assistance from the State Government and establish a Finance Committee.

Mayor Lisa Matthews said Councillors have requested the Acting CEO to write to the Minister for Local Government seeking urgent assistance with a number of matters.

“Council has been in daily contact with the Office of Local Government and we expect the arrival in the coming days of a financial expert and Human Resources adviser, as outlined by the Minister for Local Government last week,” said Mayor Lisa Matthews.

“We are also seeking from the Minister for Local Government urgent assistance to advise on a number of matters.”

These matters are:

  • Advise on the process for obtaining and seek approval to borrow from restricted funds including the Developer contributions under the EP&A Act, the Developer servicing plan contributions under the Water Management Act, Domestic Waste management funds and unrestricted cash within the water and sewer funds comprising income from user and service charges. 
  • Secure necessary external borrowing up to $100 million from TCorp, or any other emergency funding sources for the purposes of maintaining liquidity in the Council until such time as the actions within the draft 100 day recovery action plan are implemented.
  • Confirmation on the timing, scope and terms of reference for the previously committed financial and human resources advisors

Council also resolved that should the Minster for Local Government not be able to assist in securing borrowing through TCorp, that Council authorise the CEO to present a loan proposal for its consideration at a future meeting on Council for the sum of up to $100 million.

“A forensic audit of Council’s finances will be undertaken and Council will continue to seek additional support and advice from the Office of Local Government during this period of transition,” said Mayor Lisa Matthews.

“Additionally, a Finance Committee comprised of all the Councillors, the Office of Local Government appointed independent financial expert and human resources adviser, and an independent legal adviser will be established to oversee Council’s forensic internal audit and the 100-Day Action Plan to financial recovery.

The 100-Day Action Plan will include:

  • Identifying savings in the Capital Works and Operational Services programs
  • Implement Capital Works savings of $22.4 million which have immediately been identified         
  • An immediate reduction in non-essential services
  • Removal of financial delegations and enhanced financial controls
  • A review of temporary and casual contractors
  • Overtime to be highly restricted
  • Identifying future revenue opportunities
  • Investigation of loans and borrowing options; and
  • More aggressive debt repayment programs

Central Coast Council has faced major challenges since the amalgamation of the two councils in 2016 including a series of significant natural disasters this past year alone including bushfires, floods, coastal erosion and also responding to the impacts of COVID-19.

Central Coast CEO, Mr Gary Murphy, is on leave and Mr Jamie Loader, Director Water and Sewer is Acting CEO.

 

 

 

 

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Last updated : Tue 13 Oct 2020