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:
Shepparton Chamber of Commerce president says employers should be able to come to an agreement with employees about penalty rates.
The Yarrawonga Mulwala B Grade Rams have secured the Des Johnston Shield as WDCA B Grade Two Day Premiers for season 2014/2015 with a crushing win over City Colts.
Mystery and romance abound in a new novel from leading lady of Australian women’s fiction, Fleur McDonald.
Actor and presenter Shane Jacobson starred in two seasons of Top Gear Australia and has staged Top Gear Fest for the past five years.
Rochester Football Netball Club hosted an information evening last week in collaboration with Ambulance Victoria to educate members on the correct use of the club’s defibrillator.
20th Heritage Day a hit
Councillors last night put out for public comment a draft budget which proposed a lower-than-expected increase.
Finley have now formed their own Local Health Advisory Committee.
Heathcote Primary School put on a colourful display for Easter on Friday with an Easter hat parade featuring everything from the very edible to amazingly tall.
VicRoads will review speed limits on the Murray Valley Highway in Cobram and Strathmerton following petitions calling for them to be lowered.
Leading concert artist Daniel de Borah will perform in Deniliquin tonight as part of the South West Music 2015 concert series.
Toolamba Primary School student Felix Turnbull is looking forward to seeing his face on new SPC labels that will be on supermarket shelves across the nation.
Benalla streets have come alive with street art. The large painted images adorn some of the town's buildings, creating a spectacular sight.
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.