State audit released, council a moderate risk

THE Fraser Coast Regional Council's long-term financial sustainability has been rated a moderate risk in a Queensland Audit Office report for the 2012-13 year.

The report described the classification as meaning the council has a moderate risk of "sustainability issues arising in the short- to medium-term if current operating income and expenditure policies continue".

However it noted those risk factors did not take into account the "council's long-term forecasts, nor is it a credit assessment, which is undertaken by Queensland Treasury Corporation".

The council was handed the same ranking in the 2011-12 report, although its position across the testing categories improved this time.

Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O'Connell said he believed similar improvements would continue in coming years and the end goal was to progress to the "lower" risk rating.

The Fraser Coast was one of 16 large councils listed in the report and was joined by two others when judged as moderate risk. Neighbouring councils Bundaberg and Gympie were in the large councils group and were both assessed as lower risk.

"I think it's a combination of things," Cr O'Connell said.

"It's the work we've done at council in our rating policy.

"In other words striking a rate and bringing down a budget that's well balanced and has a rating policy that's affordable across the region.

He said in the more recently undertaken Queensland Treasury Corporation credit review the council had been handed a "sound" rating, however acknowledged that assessment did not include Wide Bay Water Corporation finances while the QAO one did.

The audit reports were tabled in parliament earlier this week.

Average ratings across council sizes:

  • Very large councils: moderate risk
  • Large councils: lower risk
  • Medium councils: lower risk
  • Small councils: lower risk
  • Indigenous councils: higher risk


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