Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) has adopted its 2020/21 Annual Report showing that prudent financial management has ensured essential services continue to be delivered throughout the Region, while significant investment is made in infrastructure and community services.
In adopting the 2020/21 Annual Report, Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio praised the work of the organisation as Council delivered key programs and services for the community during challenging circumstances brought on by COVID-19.
“These past 12 months have been among the most extraordinary I have seen in more than 38 years of local government,” Mayor Antonio said.
“Socially and emotionally, our community has been tested with the cancellation of much-loved events, closures of public facilities, supply chain challenges and the emotional burden of uncertainty.
“The Annual Report gives us an opportunity to reflect on this period of time and the achievements we accomplished over the past 12 months, as well as provide the community with an update on our financial position.”
The Annual Report was adopted today at Council’s October Ordinary Meeting and also reports Council’s progress against the objectives set out in its Corporate Plan 2019-2024.
Prudent financial management resulted in Council maintaining its Queensland Treasury Corporation (QTC) credit rating this year with a ‘Sound’ rating and ‘Neutral’ outlook.
“Significant investment in infrastructure, facilities, technology and community services held us in good stead during COVID-19 and will continue to position us well moving forward,” Mayor Antonio said.
“Investment in our Region is strong and Council is committed to engaging with our community to realise a shared vision and sustainable future.
“I’m positive that our residents have the resolve and the energy to continue work that builds on our rich traditions, while ensuring we and future generations enjoy everything our Region has to offer while taking advantage of new opportunities.”
TRC Finance and Business Strategy Committee Chair Councillor Geoff McDonald said years of responsible financial management had enabled Council to withstand events such as the pandemic.
“The 2020-21 Annual Report reflects our current financial strength, and importantly, our effectiveness and commitment to long-term financial planning,” Cr McDonald said.
“Our solid financial footing enabled us to invest in a dedicated $50 million Pandemic Response Investment Program to stimulate economic activity across the Toowoomba Region in infrastructure, initiatives and strategies for now and years to come.
“Changes to Council’s Procurement Policy over the past 18 months has increased local spend with around $202 million, or 64 per cent, injected into our economy in the 2020/21 financial year.
“Supporting our local community has never been more important and as a small-business friendly council we have set an annual minimum target of 60 per cent local spend.
“Council has met the challenges of the past year in a financially responsible way, while providing relief that is complementary to State and Federal Government assistance.
“I am truly proud of our efforts this year and the way we continue to adapt and respond to changing community needs and expectations.”