Yarra Ranges Council proud of their performance over the past year

Yarra Ranges Council approved of its Annual Report and Financial and Performance Statements for 2022/23 at the Tuesday 24 October meeting. Picture: MIKAYLA VAN LOON

By Callum Ludwig

Yarra Ranges Council has approved its Annual Report and Financial and Performance Statements for the 2022/23 financial year.

The documents provide full transparency to the community on what Council has achieved, spent and whether they have achieved their goals over the past year.

Yarra Ranges Council Mayor Jim Child said he thinks the annual report is such an important document and encourages residents to actually take the time to read it.

“Being Mayor of this incredible community, I’m honoured to reflect on the achievements and progress that we’ve made over the past year,” he said.

“Together we’ve adapted to new circumstances of working collectively to create positive outcomes and the dedication and passion of our residents have been the driving force behind our accomplishments and this has reflected back into our Council by our Council plan as well,”

“Yes, we’ve had many challenges over the year and I think it shows what our organisation can do in actually progressing those important items that have been brought to our attention by our community.”

Yarra Ranges Council reported a $35.6 million net operating surplus, 11 per cent lower than budgeted for due to revenue from Federal Government Operating Grants being deposited early, gifted assets such as footpaths and drainage from the development of the Kinley Estate and an underspend in employee costs due to staff vacancies.

Ryrie Ward Councillor Fiona McAllister said the reports are a reminder of the diversity and amount of services and projects that are delivered right across Council.

“Some of the statistics at the front, 120,000 calls were taken by our Customer Service team, and I know there’s been a spike in those with FOGO and the rollout of our new waste but on a typical week, many thousands of calls from the community come in and hopefully issues are raised and feedback is given,” she said.

“There’s been 700,000 library loans, a huge number of megawatt hours in solar, and all sorts of other things that it’s important to celebrate at the end of a financial year,”

“The reinstatement of the Firestick program, delivery of over 120 services, 12 large sports infrastructure projects, land acquisition of 150 Cambridge Road, all really substantial undertakings on behalf of the community.”

The Annual Report will be made available online and in the foyer of the Lilydale Civic Centre.

Cr Child said the Council’s financial position is sound.

“The timing of the capital expenditure and receipt of grants commission funding has impacted the cash position favourably,” He said.

“Council’s working capital remains positive, which reflects the Council’s ability to meet its current commitments when they fall due and Council’s debt servicing and indebtedness ratios are well within the individual guidelines and in line with the council’s long-term financial plan.”

Capital works projects, waste management, customer and corporate support and infrastructure (roads, drains and footpaths) were where ratepayers’ money went, with $27.97, $10.62, $10.02 and $10.01 allocated to each respectively on average for every $100 of rates income received.