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Western Downs continues strong financial management

14 June 2016

Mayor Paul McVeigh and Spokesperson for Parks and Open Spaces Councillor Carolyn Tillman inspect the beautification plans for Myall Creek Parkland - just one of the liveability projects that Council is able to deliver with savings delivered in its 2016/17 Budget.

Mayor Paul McVeigh and Spokesperson for Parks and Open Spaces Councillor Carolyn Tillman inspect the beautification plans for Myall Creek Parkland – just one of the liveability projects that Council is able to deliver with savings delivered in its 2016/17 Budget.

Western Downs Regional Council continues to slash its debt levels by agreeing to repay another $15 million.

  • In the last six months Council has reduced its loan borrowings by an impressive 65%, cutting the portfolio of loans down from 38 to just three;
  • This $15 million debt reduction together with the $25 million repayment in February results in significant future interest savings;
  • Council is committed to strong financial management through balancing its responsibility to deliver value for money services to our Western Downs’ ratepayers while still being able to support economic growth and improve the liveability of our towns;
  • Council’s debt will reduce from its February balance of $62.4 million to $22.7 million;
  • This repayment will reduce the region’s debt from $3,264 per ratepayer to $1,172 per ratepayer;
  • The remaining loans fund the delivery of major regional infrastructure.

Council Spokesperson for Finance and Corporate Services Councillor Ian Rasmussen said the motivation behind repaying debt is all about providing greater flexibility in delivering projects that matter to our communities.

“Thanks to the significant investment Council has made over the last six years in much needed water, wastewater and waste infrastructure, we now have excellent and long-lasting assets that future-proof our region,” he said.

“For example, the current Chinchilla Water Treatment Plant project and the just completed Winfields Road Landfill Facility in Jandowae are the last critical infrastructure projects that Council will need to complete for a number of years.

“It’s now time to turn our focus to enhancing the liveability of our towns, tourism and economic development; and we’re in a sound financial position to do exactly that.

“A great example is our investment in creating beautiful open spaces for locals and visitors alike, with projects like the new Chinchilla Botanical Gardens Master Plan, the Myall Creek Parkland upgrade in Dalby and the Miles Anzac Park development.”

Mayor Paul McVeigh said Council is committed to careful and considered financial management which also looks to the future ensuring that it is well placed to meet any challenges ahead.

“Keeping debt low not only allows us to strategically choose how we invest the savings but also means that we are better able to meet any future challenges.

“It’s an outstanding achievement and places Western Downs Regional Council as a proven leader in financial management across Queensland local governments,” he said.

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