A Coffs Harbour City Councillor is seeking urgent advice on what has gone wrong.
A Coffs Harbour City Councillor is seeking urgent advice on what has gone wrong.

More than $15m in ‘net losses’ from Council’s budget

A COFFS Harbour City Councillor is seeking urgent advice on a $15.3m 'net loss' outlined in draft financial statements for the 2019/20 financial year.

Council's draft Annual Financial Statements will be considered at this week's Council meeting.

The statements must be approved to meet legislative requirements in relation to the completion and audit of Council's Annual Financial Statements for 2019/2020.

A report before Councillors recommends approving the Annual Financial Statements but points out a significant loss due to the disposal of assets:

'It is of note that the Income Statement includes significant one-off adjustments recognised through the revaluation of transport and stormwater drainage infrastructure assets and demolition of some property assets, with consequently $15.334 million in net losses from the disposal of assets. There is also a revaluation decrement/impairment of $0.907 million and impacts, particularly on the commercial business units' performance, from the COVID-19 pandemic,' the report outlines.

Cr Sally Townley.
Cr Sally Townley.

This has raised serious concerns for Cr Sally Townley moving into the next financial year effectively more than $15m in the red.

"The final position appears considerably worse than expected. While some loss can be attributed to COVID, the final position is also offset by some very large and in some cases unexpected grants," Dr Townley said.

"Without these, the final figure would be even worse. I am not sure where the $15m loss from disposal of assets has occurred, but will certainly seek an explanation."

Council received a number of unexpected grants in the past financial year including $1m in federal disaster recovery funding following the bushfires that devastated the region, particularly the small community of Nana Glen.

RELATED: Federal fire funds back on the agenda at public meeting

Council was also the recipient of a $500,000 NSW Public Library Infrastructure Grant for the library component of the Cultural and Civic Space.

RELATED: State Library grant for Cultural and Civic Space

Funding also came from the Regional Airport Security Screening Fund.