Message from the Mayor

Published on 27 May 2024


MidCoast Councillors have been working with senior staff over recent months to develop a have adopted a financial sustainability action plan which sets a path towards financial sustainability, following an in-depth independent review undertaken by the AEC Group last year.

The review draws a number of conclusions about Council’s financial sustainability including that we are not investing enough in asset renewals and has an infrastructure backlog that is higher than it should be. It also noted Council has the sixth lowest average rate for residential and fifth lowest for business categories when compared to neighbouring councils.

The review points out that there is no immediate (short-term) financial issues as our cash position is sound, the issue is with longer-term sustainability and the ability to keep up with the required maintenance on our $5 billion worth of assets.

The report noted that financial sustainability is a challenge across Local Government and we continue to support consideration of broader reforms by the State Government.

The five-part action plan includes continuing to ensure we use our limited funds efficiently; ensuring our operations are lean and efficient and deliver value for money to the community; managing our assets across their life cycle; reviewing revenue sources to align with expenses and service levels; and generating sufficient unrestricted cash.

While the initial review by AEC Group did indicate a special rate variation should be pursued, this is not our first course of action. We intend to ensure we do all that we can to ensure our limited funds are controlled and spent effectively and that our operations are as effective, efficient and lean as possible before we look at rate increases.


Our plan sets out five objectives and a range of actions that will take place over the coming year and incorporated into our Delivery Program and Operational Plan which is currently on public exhibition.

The MidCoast Roads Strategy, which was noted by Councillors this month, highlights the funding gap in the maintenance and renewal of our road network and that a significant change is required to prevent the network from continuing to deteriorate.

It also identifies that current maintenance funding is not keeping pace with inflation or traffic and infrastructure growth.

While the strategy includes a large number of actions designed to address the condition of the region’s roads, this is not funded and only actions that can be funded within existing programs and budgets will be progressed.

This strategy will form the basis of discussions with the community around desired levels of service and willingness to pay and the information contained in it supports the objectives of our Financial Sustainability Action Plan.

Progress will also be reported through our Delivery Program and Operational Plan framework.

Along with the draft Delivery Program and Operational Plan, our draft Local Environmental Plan is also on exhibition for community comment.

A Local Environmental Plan (LEP) provides the planning controls and framework that guides development in the MidCoast.

Currently we have three Local Environmental Plans (from the former Council areas) that have different approaches resulting in an inconsistent planning framework across the MidCoast.

Having one MidCoast LEP will provide a consistent direction on how development in the MidCoast will occur.

It will provide more certainty for the community and the development industry and will achieve good planning outcomes.

To find out more go to and use the mapping tool to understand any impact on your property. We will also be holding drop-in sessions across the region to discuss the impact of changes on your property with you and

It is a busy month as we continue our Community Conversations program, which sees us visit 15 locations across the MidCoast.

I invite all members of the community to come along and here from us about the projects and initiatives we have planned over the coming 12 months.

For information on where we will be near you, visit

During this month we will be starting several important consultations with our community.