Council’s cash and investment portfolio was $680.90M at 31 December 2022.
That’s up by $100m in 12 months.
Council’s cash and investment portfolio totalled $580.62M at 31 January 2022.
Two years ago, Council’s cash and investment portfolio totalled $488.72 million at 31 January 2021.
The latest update on Council’s external borrowings is from November 2022.
Those figures show external borrowings at 30 November 2022 were $305.7M.
Not bad for a council that was saddled with a debt of about $317M when it came into being in 2016 after Gosford and Wyong councils merged.
And, a little over two years after the great financial crisis of October 2020 became public.
At the end of 2020, newly appointed administrator Dick Persson and his interim CEO Rik Hart, who is now the current administrator, signed off on a $150m “emergency” loan.
This loan was to help pay off a $200m debt that council had incurred when it used restricted funds for purposes outside the rules.
The fallout from that included the councillors being suspended and Mr Persson called in to replace them as an administrator.
Mr Persson brought in Mr Hart and they set about cutting costs, cutting staff and restructuring, selling community assets, as well as gaining an ongoing rate rise and, later, water rate rises.
The councillors were eventually sacked in March 2022 as one of the outcomes of a public inquiry into the council.
The Commissioner of the public inquiry agreed with Mr Persson who said one of the three main reasons for the crisis was the council’s ongoing deficit budgets and councillors had to take responsibility for that.
Mr Persson said the other two reasons were the spending of restricted funds and the lack of savings from amalgamation.
The Commissioner said she agreed that some staff failed to adequately perform their duties, resulting in a situation where there was insufficient strategic financial direction and information provided to councillors.
That’s a very shortened version of events since 2020. For Council’s official version, you can start on their website here:
Read Dick Persson’s first report here: https://cdn.centralcoast.nsw.gov.au/…/Administrators_30…
Or read the Commissioner’s report here: https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/…/Report%20of…
Meanwhile, for the rest of us, here’s to 2023. And the first meeting of the year which is being held tomorrow night, Tuesday, January 24.