CVC loss from ‘nationwide crisis'

CLARENCE Valley Council will post a $33.5 million loss for 2010/11, following a $10.4 million loss for 2009/10, according to draft financial statements.

The largest component of the loss is $42 million worth of depreciation (similar to last year) which, said acting general manager Mike Colreavy, was largely due to depreciating roads and council buildings.

Mr Colreavy said the figures pointed to a nationwide crisis in which, due to budget restraints, the council's assets were depreciating much faster than they could be maintained.

He said NSW ratepegging legislation meant councils could not charge ratepayers the true cost of services and councils needed a bigger share of Commonwealth taxation.

"As an industry, we are trying to get state and federal governments to see that councils need to increase their revenue base," he said.

"Clearly there are no cutbacks we could make to save $33 million. We need to increase the revenue base."

The council's income from operations was $100 million, less expenses from operations of $81.6m, leaving an $18.4 million profit in ordinary activities before depreciation.

The result was down from the 2009/10 figure of $20.7 million.

The figures show the council spent $33 million in employee benefits and on costs, $8.4 million on borrowing costs, and $30.4 million on materials and contracts.

Mr Colreavy has been in the role since previous general manager Stuart McPherson retired in June. The new general manager, Scott Greensill, will begin on October 17.

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