Council Improvement Program
The Fit for the Future program is part of the State Government’s response to the work of the NSW Independent Local Government Review Panel and was announced in 2014. New South Wales councils are required to submit their Council Improvement Plan by 30 June 2015.
Three years of closely reviewing finances, expenditure and assets is the foundation of Byron Shire Council’s Fit for the Future local government submission. As a result, Council has developed six key Council improvement strategies that form part of the Council Improvement Program. They include:
- Pursuing new, recurrent revenues such as paid parking
- Asset realisation (sale and development of land)
- Increasing rates beyond the rate peg in future years
- Efficiency savings through strategic procurement initiatives
- Continuation of savings generated through operating efficiencies
- Significant increases in expenditure on infrastructure such as roads
With the strategies implemented, Council will meet six of the seven benchmarks within the required five year timeframe and are likely to satisfy the IPART methodology for assessment on the seventh benchmark.
Being declared Fit for the Future comes with significant benefits. It would allow Council access to a state borrowing facility to help fund local infrastructure, flexibility with procurement and simplified reporting, access to a streamlined IPART process for setting rates and eligibility for additional planning powers.
Byron Shire Council’s current Financial Sustainability Plan can be found at http://www.byron.nsw.gov.au/financial-sustainability-project-plan
Table - Byron Shire Council’s performance measure bench marks