Campbelltown declared 'fit'
Campbelltown City Council has been declared ‘fit’ following a reassessment of its proposal by the Office of Local Government.
On 20 October 2015, IPART released its assessment of NSW councils' Fit for the Future proposals and we were originally declared not fit due to not meeting all the financial sustainability criteria. The report further stated that as Council was assessed as satisfying the scale and capacity criterion, strategies to improve our financial performance should enable us to become 'fit'.
We were given the opportunity to respond to the report by 18 November 2015, to demonstrate how we can meet the financial requirements and prove we are Fit for the Future. In late December 2015, the Government made its announcement about the future of local government. As part of this announcement, Campbelltown City Council was again identified as a stand alone council, with no merger proposal.
Council was able to resubmit its proposal in July 2016 to just this criteria under the reassessment program.
The financial sustainability criteria measures a council’s achievements in containing operating expenditure within operating income, and whether the council will generate sufficient funds over the long term to provide the agreed level of services and infrastructure for its communities. The sustainability measures include the operating performance ratio, the own source revenue ratio and the building and infrastructure asset renewal ratio.
Now found to be ‘fit’, Council will have access to financial incentives moving forward.
What is Fit for the Future?
'Fit for the Future' is a reform package released by the NSW Government. As part of the initiative, Council was required to submit a proposal to the NSW Office of Local Government by 30 June 2015, to demonstrate that it had the strategic capacity to continue to provide sustainable services and infrastructure, and meet the Fit for the Future criteria of:
- Financial sustainability
- Effective infrastructure and service management
- Scale and capacity.
Independent Local Government Review Panel recommendation 2014
The Independent Review Panel’s recommendation for Campbelltown City Council was for Council to remain in its current form. Our local government area has not been identified for a proposed amalgamation with adjoining councils, or for any other boundary adjustment. The NSW Government has accepted this recommendation.
Council agrees with the Independent Review Panel and the NSW Government that the interests of Campbelltown residents will be best served by maintaining our current structure, and accordingly, Council formally resolved not to consider any amalgamation or boundary adjustment. We were required, however, to demonstrate to the NSW Government that we have the scale and capacity to remain sustainable into the long term.
What is Council doing to meet future challenges?
Like many councils in NSW, we face a challenge in maintaining and renewing roads, buildings, sporting fields and parklands, and sustaining our current levels of service into the future.
Over the past two years, Council has put in place measures to improve the organisation's financial position and efficiency, and these measures will further improve our financial sustainability and capacity to continue to deliver quality services to our local community.
We will continue to carefully look at how we can best achieve this important outcome.