Southern Downs Regional Council has reported another strong year of financial success, achieving a $1.8 million operating surplus and slashing more than $3 million in debt in 2016-17.
Southern Downs Regional Council has reported another strong year of financial success, achieving a $1.8 million operating surplus and slashing more than $3 million in debt in 2016-17. Kerri Moore

Council pushes toward repaying debt

SOUTHERN Downs Regional Council has set its sights on financial security, with a further surplus of $1.8million recorded in the past financial year.

Mayor Tracy Dobie said the operating surplus figure was a highlight of the 2016-17 annual report adopted last week, on top of more than $3million in council debt being paid down.

"This provides opportunities for infrastructure upgrades and service enhancements that are essential if we are to continue on our path of further growth,” Cr Dobie said.

"This council is committed to the delivery of operating surpluses but acknowledges that this cannot be as a result of imposing a burden on our ratepayers.

"(The report) highlights the continuing strong financial position of the council, further supporting the long-term financial sustainability of the council.”

Cr Dobie said the annual report also recognise the success of SDRC in securing State and Federal Government funding for major projects such as bridge renewal and road replacement.

"Over the next twelve months, council staff will deliver the largest capital works program undertaken to date,” she said.

"Council made 14 submissions to Federal and State government invitations, including presenting a case for the decentralisation of the federal public service to regional Australia.

"Council has won a number of awards, which increases the Southern Downs region's profile in the State and on the national stage. Both the Southern Downs Backpacker Initiative and Wild Dog Control Program were nominated as finalists in the Queensland Local Government Managers Association 2017 Awards for Excellence in their respective categories of collaboration and innovation.”

"The future is very positive for the Southern Downs. As we look towards 2017-18, it is evident that more jobs are on the horizon, more businesses are looking to expand or relocate to the Southern Downs and our visitor numbers will grow. All this bodes well for the future sustainability of our region.”

The annual report will be available from sdrc.qld.gov.au.