Last night, Greater Geelong Council endorsed the Quarterly Financial Management Report to 31 December 2020, which overall paints a more favourable picture than anticipated in the first quarter’s report, and includes a revised forecast deficit for the end of the financial year of $30.4 million, reduced from the previous forecast of $33.4 million.
The annual budget, adopted on 30 June 2020, includes a recurrent operating deficit of $24.6 million and a non-recurrent surplus of $110.2 million, resulting in a net surplus of $85.6 million.
The recurrent operating result for the six-month period to 31 December is a deficit of $7.6 million, which compares favourably to a budgeted deficit of $15.8 million.
Greater Geelong Mayor Stephanie Asher said that they welcomed the result.
The result is far better than we had anticipated and we’re very pleased that some of the unexpected expenses driven by the COVID-19 pandemic have been partly offset to a greater degree than we had forecast.
The non-recurrent result for the six months, which includes, for example, gifted assets from development, capital income and sale of properties, was a surplus of $69.2 million, which also compares favourably to the budgeted surplus of $53.4 million.
Since September, we’ve enjoyed a stronger outlook with the reopening of leisure centres and other facilities and services. Coupled with lower waste and utility expenses and savings from continued office closures we’ve made inroads to narrowing the expected variances.
The City is set to receive around $8 million this financial year from the Working for Victoria fund and Government grants to support recovery from COVID-19 pandemic are also being pursued. To date $500,000 has been received to support outdoor-dining initiatives along with a further $2.1 million boost for local roads and infrastructure.