Council rakes in $61 million extra

COFFS Harbour City Council earned more than $61 million in the past financial year than it did in 2014/15.

The audited annual financial planning statements of the Coffs Harbour City Council were aired at Thursday's council meeting.

The statement revealed Coffs Harbour City Council earned a total income from continuing operations of $237 million over the 2015/16 financial year, which ended on June 30.

Income from continuing operations, which included rates and annual charges, was the highest earner and brought in almost $86 million.

In the 2014/15 financial year $81 million was raised by rates and annual charges.

Grants and contributions provided for capital purposes was the next highest money earner which brought in more than $77 million for council, an increase of more than $50 million compared to the previous year.

Auditor Adam Bradfield said this increase was largely due to the State Government grant for the Pacific Hwy bypass.

On the expenditures, it was revealed council had spent approximately $1.2 million less than it did the previous financial year.

In the 2015/16 financial year council spent $163,307,000, while it spent $164,528,000 in the previous financial year.

Material and contracts ($49 million) accounted for the highest expenditure followed by depreciation and amortisation ($43 million) and employee benefits and on-costs ($42 million).

This followed the 2014/15 financial year trend.

Council reported an increase of $116,323 in equity at the end of the financial year.

It held $1.2 million in retained earnings and $639,804 in revaluation reserves.

The auditors' report stated council would need to remain vigilant if it were to remain on track to achieve the Fit for the Future benchmarks for the general fund required by 2019/20.

According to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) report, councils considered to be fit for the future would be granted preferential access to State Government grants, loans and funding.

Coffs Harbour City Council general manager Steve McGrath said the Auditor-General would conduct the next audit for the Coffs Harbour City Council from this financial year.

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