Lismore City Council (LCC) has posted a $3.692 million deficit for the last financial year. The figure would have been $10.493 million had it not been for substantial capital revenues.
This included better-than-expected performances by the Goonellabah Sports and Aquatic Centre and the council’s quarrying operations.
On the upside, the council reported its overall financial position to 30 June had improved by $21.91 million to $1.068 billion. This includes the valuation of its assets.
LCC announced its cash and investments increased to $42.16 million and the debt service ratio was reduced slightly to 6.64 per cent, which it says is well within accepted benchmark indicators.
Nevertheless, LCC has admitted it needs to live more within its means and will be embarking on a ‘Zero Based Budget review’ next year.
‘The deficit reflects that the costs associated with renewing existing infrastructure are increasing,’ said LCC’s manager finance Rino Santin.
‘Put simply, we have to best match the cost of works and services to the funding available, or look at other ways to deliver community expectations. This very question will be asked through the ‘Imagine Lismore’ process as it’s not an easy one to answer,’ he said.
‘The first step is to clearly establish Council’s priorities. The second part is to apply the initiatives such as the Zero Based Budget review to make sure we are delivering works and services in the most cost-effective way.’