Multi-million dollar pay down of council debt

In a red letter day for ratepayers, Council will use $10 million in cash reserves to pay off a significant portion of the debt it inherited at de-amalgamation.

Noosa Mayor Tony Wellington said the payment is a clear demonstration of this council’s excellent fiscal management.

“Some habitual Council detractors continue to falsely suggest that we are in financial trouble, but this decision is clear evidence of a well-managed, financially sound council,” he said.

Councillors unanimously endorsed the $10 million pay down of the debt at Thursday’s Ordinary Meeting at Cooran.

“The debt from de-amalgamation, being historic, is at a far higher interest rate than today’s rates, so Council’s decision to pay it off will result in a significant saving for ratepayers.

“By reducing the debt and the high-interest payments, Council’s future operating position will be even stronger,” Cr Wellington said.

“Since de-amalgamation, we have kept rate rises at or below CPI, we have improved services and our residents have a more transparent and responsive council,” Cr Wellington said.

“This is in stark contrast to the major scare campaign in the lead-up to 2013 referendum, asserting that rates would skyrocket and the new Noosa Council would end up a financial basket-case”

A review of Noosa Council’s liquidity by Queensland Treasury Corporation has made it plain that council is an excellent financial position.

“Taking this action makes good sense. What’s more, we still have another $10 million in cash reserves for emergency purposes,” the Mayor said.

“We get a better bang for our buck by paying off these inherited higher interest rate loans than we would if we simply continued to invest the money at today’s interest rates.”

“This decision should give ratepayers a level of comfort that their council is financially stable now and into the near future.”

“I also want to acknowledge the excellent financial management of my predecessor, Mayor Noel Playford, who set up the new Council on such a solid financial footing.

“And I commend the efforts of my fellow councillors, the Director of Corporate Services, and indeed the rest of the council staff for their diligence, commitment and support in helping to achieve such an historic decision,” Mayor Wellington said.

/Public Release. The material in this public release comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.