Council to balance budget with new Long Term Financial Plan
City of Onkaparinga has adopted a new Long Term Financial Plan that will see council eliminate its deficit over four years, transitioning to a balanced budget.
The plan also sets future rate increases by CPI, with any decision to increase rates beyond CPI requiring consultation with the community about exactly what the funds would go towards, and ringfencing them for that use.
City of Onkaparinga Mayor Erin Thompson said she was proud of the commitment made to put the past behind and move forward as a financially responsible council.
“We’ve listened to our residents and worked hard to adopt a financial plan that directly reflects how and where they believe their rates should be spent.
“Our plan includes a detailed model that sets out a trajectory for expenditure of funds and reigning in and eliminating debt over the long term.
“Through this plan we will eliminate Council’s deficit over four years, transitioning it to a balanced budget.
“The plan recognises that rate increases will need to reflect CPI increases. And any decisions to increase rates beyond CPI will need to be transparently made by Council, informing the community of exactly what those funds will go towards.
“Council’s decision to adopt this plan was a watershed moment—a renewed approach that was based on our reconnection with community that will serve as our foundation for continual rebuild and improvement in future.
“When I stood for Mayor, I did so as a voice of our community knowing its heart and spirit—the same heart that makes the City of Onkaparinga one of the best places to live in metropolitan Adelaide.
“I am committed to consulting with ratepayers and ensuring their voice is heard in the decisions council makes. We cannot deliver for our community unless we hear from its members directly.
“We do not adopt this plan with the presumption that it’s simply a case of setting it up and leaving it alone.
“Over the coming months, I’ll be reaching out to every corner of our city—from McLaren Vale to Coromandel Valley, and from Flagstaff Hill to Sellicks Beach—to continue to talk with our community about the plan.
“I want to empower our community to achieve its potential and use the services and infrastructure provided by council to enable them to thrive.
“It’s my commitment to our community, that their feedback will inform my priorities as mayor and our council’s vision along with the services we deliver.
“Our community must always be at the heart of a council’s direction and decision making. They are the reason local government exists, and our job is to serve them.”
Council is required by the Local Government Act 1999 to adopt a Long Term Financial Plan once every four years, but the plan is reviewed and updated annually as part of council’s financial planning process.