Council deficit turns to surplus

COFFS Harbour City Council's financial statements for the 2007-08 financial year show that the council has turned a projected deficit of $260,798 into a $609,688 surplus.

Council's new director of corporate services Craig Milburn said such a result did not occur without a lot of hard work and represented an $870,486 turnaround.

The report to yesterday's council meeting said the surplus would help in addressing the 2007-08 financial situation.

With the international monetary crisis having an impact on council's projected interest income, council staff expect to see the carried-over surplus fully used.

'Red ink' is liberally sprinkled through the council's investment portfolio in the report on bank balances and investments to July 31, with values of and income from a range of investments sliding into the red.

Unrealised losses are at $4,764,071, although much of this is from long-range investments not due to mature for three to six years, which council plans to hold until maturity. “Every one of (our) investments is in line with State Government guidelines,” Mr Milburn said

“We're like every other organisation - government, company, super fund around the world,”

“Returns have certainly dropped and we are working with the help of our advisers to allow for that volatility.

“At the next quarterly review we will be looking at the investment forecast for the general fund.”

The investment situation is expected to worsen in the current quarter.

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