Council given financial tick of approval

Council given financial tick of approval

The Essential Services Commission of South Australia (ESCOSA) has deemed the Grant District Council to be financially sustainable following the latest reporting round under the Local Government Advice Scheme.

Over a six-month period, ESCOSA met with 17 councils across South Australia, including the Grant District Council, to review relevant financial information and develop independent advice on the appropriateness of funding plans, and ensuring community benefit is at the forefront of decision making.

Grant chief executive Darryl Whicker said the review’s findings were very positive for council identifying its sustainability.

“The report identified that a majority of key activities in place, such as our regular updating of the Long Term Financial Plan, consultation on the Annual Business Plan and Budget, and focus on keeping rates low, are setting council and our community up for future success and longevity,” he said.

Mr Whicker said the reporting also detailed that council continues to improve its transparency on changes to key planning assumptions within the Long Term Financial Plan, and Annual Business Plan and Budget.

“Council’s commitment to assign more funding to the renewal of assets rather than prioritising new infrastructure initiatives were further validated,” he said.

“However, with all audits there is the expectation there will be some areas of learning and improvement.”

Mr Whicker said ESCOSA confirmed council held $163.8m worth of assets within the district which they recommended to be given to more frequent revaluation and renewal.

“Our focus will be on renewing our Asset Management Plans which are in place but are currently just at the end of their currency,” he said.

That was certainly an element which we understood and will be correcting in the near future along with other improvement opportunities identified.”

Mayor Kylie Boston said the news proved timely as council was currently in the middle of its annual budgeting process.

“The report reconfirms that council’s ongoing work conducting a range of checks and balances, external audits and internal financial controls are on the right track and performing as they should,” she 

“Now we will look into the future to ensure we can continue to deliver services the community needs and wants in a continued efficient and sustainable way.”

The Grant District Council will release its draft 2024-2025 Annual Business Plan and Budget in the coming months ready for community consultation; a process which ESCOSA specifically identified as one of council’s strengths.

A summary of the commision’s advice can be found online at

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