Queensland-wide financial audit highlights Redlands strengths

A Queensland Audit Office (QAO) report has highlighted the strength of Redland City Council’s long-term financial strategy, in comparison with other councils across the State.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the QAO report – recently tabled in the Queensland Parliament – identified a number of shortcomings for Queensland councils, while highlighting Redland City Council’s approach to financial forecasting.

“The financial security of our city is very important and we are committed to ensuring we have financial management processes in place that manage our finances efficiently and in the best interests of our community,” she said.

“While most councils audited by the QAO were unable to show their long-term approach to providing financial assurances to their communities, I am pleased to say its feedback on Redland City Council was very positive.

“Of the councils examined in depth by QAO, we were the only one with sufficient detail to enable them to be able to form a conclusion on whether our long-term financial strategy is reasonable or not.

“This is because of our thorough approach to financial planning, asset management plans that link to our financial forecast, and evidence to support our assumptions.

“These asset plans guide how we spend and ensure we are able to make good decisions based on accurate assumptions.”

Cr Williams said Redland City Council’s strong financial position was the envy of many other councils.

“We continue to deliver budgets that provide solid financial foundations for Council and the city,” she said.

“This year’s budget is the fourth consecutive year we are predicted to deliver a surplus. We also have falling debt and a 10-year financial strategy that predicts no new borrowings.

“This is a far-cry from the deficits and rising debt the city witnessed in previous years.

“This strong financial performance translates to real savings for our residents with Redland City Council delivering the lowest rates increase in South East Queensland for the last three years.”

Cr Williams said Council’s financial plan was reviewed annually to ensure it remained current and relevant to the needs of the city while protecting community assets.

“Our commitment to accountability and transparency is demonstrated by our robust financial plan and documented financial policies, and the QAO report highlighted that RCC is faring well against many of the audit suggestions,” she said.

“We are continuously improving how community assets are managed, with our asset plans also reviewed annually to ensure the timing and order of spend on public infrastructure – including roads, bridges and buildings – reflects the needs of our city.

“The timely release of the QAO report aligns with Council’s current annual review of the financial strategy which commenced last month.”

The QAO also acknowledged Council’s commitment to managing its assets with the establishment of a Capital and Operating Advisory Panel, which provides advice on strategic, commercial and financial matters associated with the delivery of community services.