Wakool Shire Council will need to increase its rate revenue to escape amalgamation.TYLA HARRINGTON January 29, 2014 4:48am
Wakool Shire Council would need to increase its rate revenue by $1 million to escape amalgamation, according to an Independent Local Government Review Panel case study.
While its merger potential is rated by the panel as only medium – opposed to Deniliquin, Conargo and Murray’s high rating – the report indicates it is not able to remain viable on its own in the long-term.
The case study has described Wakool to be in a ‘‘weak’’ financial position, but able to maintain service levels in the ‘‘short to medium-term’’.
When commenting on Wakool Shire’s financial position, general manager Bruce Graham admitted ‘‘it’s always a struggle for small shires’’.
Mr Graham, however, said he believes it will be ‘‘sustainable in the future’’.
The report says it seems ‘‘reasonable to assume’’ that Wakool can adequately maintain service levels in the short to medium-term.
‘‘There is no reason to doubt that Wakool faces greater challenges than most to maintain and renew its infrastructure in order to provide reasonable service levels on a financially sustainable basis,’’ it says.
In order to maintain service levels in the longer-term, however, the report says Wakool ‘‘will need to increase its operating revenue base relative to operating expenses by about $1m to $1.5m per annum in real terms’’.
The case study suggested an increase in Wakool Shire rates could help to improve its financial status.
‘‘A 20 per cent increase in rates would generate the order of an additional $700,000 per annum. Any increase that was applied could of course be phased in incrementally,’’ it says.
‘‘Could such an increase be borne? Average rates per residential property in Wakool in 2012/13 were $475 compared with the state average of $837.
‘‘It needs to be borne in mind though that average household incomes in Wakool ($32,444, ABS in 2010) are well below the state average of $48,139 and the state average excluding greater Sydney ($40,242).’’
Wakool Shire serves an area of 7500km2 and has a population of 4400.
According to the report it seems ‘‘potentially possible’’ for Wakool to operate in an ongoing financially sustainable way in future if:
Leukaemia diagnosis for Shepparton boy Travis Lamont, 17, hits his family hard.
Yarrawonga Football Netball Club senior footballer Jeremy O’Brien celebrated his 200th senior Ovens and Murray Football Netball League game against the Wodonga Bulldogs on Saturday.
The trip to Deakin Reserve pitted the fourth-placed Bulldogs up against sixth-placed Demons in a vital match to consolidate a finals berth.
Deputy Premier Peter Ryan and Deputy Nationals leader Peter Walsh are expected to make a significant and long-awaited bridge announcement tomorrow.
Sergeant Dale Simm of Rochester police is warning the public to be wary of phone calls offering all sorts of great prizes.
100 days at Tongala Primary.
Mark Grainger cannot believe his luck after suffering a heart attack on the day a new drug was approved to be administered by paramedics.
A man who attempted, but failed miserebly, to rob the Tocumwal Pie Shed is still on the run from police.
District residents judge the top releases from the Heathcote wine region during the second annual Heathcote Wine Show on the weekend.
A sporting precinct has emerged as the main driver behind merger of Cobram and Victory soccer clubs.
A top-three finish is on the cards for the Deni Rovers after they knocked off Jerilderie on Saturday.
Innovative irrigators are being encouraged to apply for a 2014 Rural Water Award and the chance to win a $2000 cash prize.
Three Benalla residents are speaking up to bring the issue of youth homelessness into the spotlight.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.