Blue Mountains News
Council Receives Positive End of Year Report Card
Mayor, Cr Mark Greenhill, said: “I am extremely happy with the report and the Council’s performance overall. We have met the majority of our performance targets and made some very real progress. The Council is in good shape and we have supported achievement of our Community Vision of ‘A More Sustainable Blue Mountains - Environmentally, Socially and Economically’.”
Endorsed at the last Council meeting, the report provides an assessment of how Council is performing overall in delivering on its commitments, on time and within budget.
Mayor, Cr Mark Greenhill, said: “Council has met the targets set four years ago and is on track to meet its goals in the present and into the future.”
The Council met 100% of its major projects targets; completing 97% of its operational plan actions and 94% of the Asset Works Program in 2016-17, as planned.
“On top of this, we exceeded our financial strategy target by reducing debt by $14.3M in four years, which has resulted in an additional $1.2M each year being available for services so we can better meet the needs of our community.”
Major achievements in the last four years include the completion of the Blue Mountains Theatre & Community Hub in Springwood, the upgrade of Blaxland Resource Recovery and Waste Management Facility, the relocation and upgrade of Lawson Town Centre due to the widening of the Great Western Highway; sealing of unsealed roads; extensive upgrade of the walking track network and visitor facilities on the Scenic Southern Escarpment; the upgrade of Hazelbrook and Glenbrook commuter carparks; establishing the Blue Mountains Economic Enterprise to strengthen the local economy; master planning for town centres; provision of new and improved toilet facilities in key centres; and construction of the Hazelwood Childcare Centre in Hazelbrook.
In addition to delivering capital projects to the value of $55.3M, the Council introduced the new domestic waste service in 2016 that included improved resource recovery. There has been a 28% reduction in waste to landfill from households and close to $1.9M saved in disposal costs since. Over 7,000 tonnes of new green waste was diverted from landfill.
Looking to the current year and beyond, the Council’s four year Delivery Program 2017-2021 is underway in earnest, with a promising year ahead. Council achieved a budget surplus last financial year of $466K that has enabled an increase to planned services for this current year. The Council has allocated some of the surplus ($100,000) towards a makeover of Knapsack Oval to improve the playing surface of the popular sportsground and $251,000 on footpaths throughout the City to accelerate the Pedestrian Access and Mobility Plan implementation.
The Mayor said: “It is pleasing that we can allocate the unexpected funding to community priorities such as this.”
A review of Council’s investment policy is on public exhibition for comment. The review recommends an approach to placing investments in environmentally and socially responsible financial institutions, that meet our conservative approach to managing ratepayers funds and which aligns with Council's priorities in the Blue Mountains Community Strategic Plan 2035.
“We have achieved an impressive amount over a relatively short time period,” said the Mayor. “I would like to thank the dedicated staff at Council, my councillor colleagues and the community for our collective efforts to build a successful future for the Blue Mountains.”
This article archived 1 Nov 2017
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