Finance supremo oversees council debt reduction of 40%
WHO said a dyed in the wool leftie can't manage finances?
Ipswich City Council's management and finance chairman Cr Victor Attwood might be recruited by the Greek Government to help sort out their mess if they find out what he has been up to in Ipswich.
Cr Attwood has overseen a council debt reduction over the past 12 months of 40% per capita.
Council's opening loan liabilities balance of $255.762 million reflected how in the past 12 months it wiped $202.3 million off its slate by clearing its Queensland Urban Utilities debt.
At the start of 2014-15 the debt was $2302 per resident and that has been reduced to $1386. So what does that mean for Ipswich people?
Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said it had put the city in its "strongest position financially for many years" and freed up the funds to invest in areas such as infrastructure, roads, parks and gardens that were highlighted in yesterday's QT as part of the Mayor's $396 million budget.
Cr Attwood said the debt reduction would have benefits into the future and facilitate a focus on key growth areas.
"It frees up the city to make investment in other projects and activities in the future and it reduces our interest bill which frees up more operating funds," Cr Attwood says.
"It also enables the city to properly focus on the digital economy and the incubator in Limestone St so we can advance the city technologically into the future, largely due to our financial management over the past five years
"We've been on a program to reduce the debt and being able to retire the QUU debt of nearly $200 million has given us a big boost."
The council's debt policy reflects its intention to borrow only for growth/enhancement capital expenditure and commercial debt structures for its commercial business units.
Council is projected to borrow $25 million this financial year for such projects and it envisages that by 2024-25 overall debt will be reduced to $71.65 million.
"We're working harder and smarter to deliver better value for residents and businesses," Cr Attwood said.
"This budget also puts Ipswich in a very strong position to contain debt at affordable levels in future."