Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) has adopted an amended 2022/23 Annual Budget at a Special Meeting of Council earlier today (29 March).
As part of the amended Budget, TRC Finance and Business Strategy Chair Cr Geoff McDonald said Council was now forecasting a reduced surplus for this financial year.
“When we adopted the Budget back in June we originally forecast a deficit of about $5.8 million. In October last year a reforecast indicated we were looking at a surplus of almost $3.5 million and this has now been revised to a surplus of about $730,000,” Cr McDonald said.
“These changes within this financial year are a reflection of how challenging the current economic climate is at the moment.
“Over the past year we have seen inflation levels continue to rise and this has had a significant impact on our materials and services.
“An example of this is the additional $1.32 million we’ve had to account for to support the increases in prices of fuel and parts. We’ve also had to account for an additional $800,000 as part of our waste collection contracts which is also due to the increasing price of fuel.
“This is more than $2.1 million over a six-month period, which underlines how much the cost of living continues to increase for our residents and Council.
“Despite these challenges, we’ve had a high response of people paying their rates early which we’re grateful for when we know how much financial pressure our community is under.
“Council has also allocated additional funds towards the installation of automatic number plate recognition cameras to assist the Queensland Police Service with increased community safety.
“To help offset this expenditure, Council has seen an increase on interest revenue due to consecutive interest rates increases. In addition to this, our income is tracking above budget on development lodgement fees and there has also been increased income due to higher than expected usage of our community venues and the Jondaryan Woolshed.
“It’s great to see our facilities being well-used by our residents and could also be a sign of how our community is moving out of a covid phase and back to business as usual.
“With cost price rises continuing to fluctuate, it’s crucial for Council to stay within its key financial sustainability measures which are monitored by the State Government.
“Our credit rating of sound with a neutral outlook will be challenged over the coming 10 years with so many large multi-generational projects on our books that puts our position under pressure, however at this stage there is no indication our position will change in the short term.”
At the Special Meeting of Council on 29 March 2023, Council adopted the amended 2022/23 Annual Budget.
This included the revised budgeted Net Operating surplus of $728,214 and a proposed Capital Works Program of $173,064,270 which is within the parameters of Council’s Long Term Financial Forecast.