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Councillor Column – 26 September 2022

Sep 26, 2022

For Immediate Release 26 September 2022
Authorised by Councillor Greg Armstrong

Hilltops Council recently met to refer its 2021-2022 Annual Financial Statements to Audit. This is the earliest that such reports have been completed since the inception of Hilltops Council and the efforts of staff to complete the reports in a timely manner despite the obvious on-going difficulties encountered through the year deserve recognition.

For the first time since the forced merger, Hilltops Council has recorded a consolidated operating surplus (before Grants and Contributions for Capital Works). The surplus of $1.605 million is largely attributable to increased general fund revenue of approximately $7.7 million and operating surpluses in the Water and Sewer Funds.

The General fund again suffered an operating loss approaching $2 million despite the increased revenue. This loss while disappointing, is a marked performance improvement of the General fund over previous years.
It is worth noting that since formation the Hilltops Council General Fund has suffered losses of 2016-17 $4.297million, 2017-18 $6.712 million, 2018-19 $10.85 million, 2019-20 $13.06 million and 2020-21 $8.538 million.

The many hidden and related impacts of COVID, global conflicts and political tensions have resulted in supply chains being heavily impacted for all businesses. Council is not insulated from such difficulties and the rising cost of materials along with increased depreciation cost has contributed to increased Operating Expenses.

On a more positive note, increase revenue is attributable to Council completing roadworks for the State, Diesel Fuel Rebate, Workers Compensation Insurance adjustment and advance payment of instalments of the Financial Assistance Grant. While these funds are not all recurrent in nature, they have greatly assisted in producing the financial result for 2021-2022.

The full Annual Financial Statements will be available on the Hilltops Council website once they are returned from Audit, along with the Auditors Certificate.
Have a happy and safe weekend.

Councillor Greg Armstrong