Richmond Valley Council general manager John Walker
Richmond Valley Council general manager John Walker Doug Eaton

Tough times loom despite rate rise, surplus, council GM says

RICHMOND Valley Council general manager John Walker has predicted the council faces "some tough decisions on priorities", despite a 5.5% rate increase next financial year and a forecast surplus of $310,000.

The council's draft 2015-16 operational plan will be on public exhibition for the next 28 days alongside a revised 2013-17 four year delivery plan and 10-year long-term financial plan.

Alongside a general rate rise, the operational plan also includes a 4.9% increase in water charges, a 2.4% in sewerage rates, and a saving of 2% on staff salaries.

Mr Walker said the delivery of a surplus next year was "essential" and the council needed to do the same over at least the next four years, given pressure as part of the NSW Government's Fit for the Future reforms.

"Council acted early, made tough decisions, and as a result has placed the organisation in a better position to tackle the challenges which lay ahead," he said.

He warned that "ongoing financial sustainability" would require constant change and improvement into the future, and flagged "further service level reviews, productivity gains and some tough decisions on priorities".



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