What is a Long Term Financial Plan?

    The purpose of a long-term financial plan is to express in financial terms the activities that the Council proposes to undertake over the medium to longer term to achieve its stated objectives.

    It is similar to, but less detailed than the Annual Budget and helps guide Council’s future actions depending on the longer-term revenue and expenditure assumptions. It provides guidance and as such Council is not bound by the assumptions included within it.

    How often is the LTFP updated?

    A Long Term Financial Plan must legislatively be updated every 5 years. Mount Barker District Council has decided to update its Long Term Financial Plan annually.

Asset Management Plan

    How does Council decide how much to spend on particular types of assets e.g. footpaths?

    • Through a combination of formal asset condition audits, customer requests (CRMs) received and internal analysis, priorities are identified for the renewals program each year.

    • For example, for footpaths when we undertake this work we take into account the location, usage, connectivity, condition and typical useful life of a footpath.

    • How many paths we have and what the useful life of a footpath is assumed to be, then guides us as to how much we need to spend each year to renew them.

    How does Council decide which footpaths are repaired and renewed?

    Council aims to undertake condition audits on footpaths every 4 years. 

    This produces a score of the condition across the network, helping prioritise the paths which most need replacement.

    What priority is given for surfacing or grading and improving rural roads? How can I find out if and when my local road is included in the program of works?

    Through a combination of formal audits, customer requests received and internal analysis, a number of high priority roads are identified each year.

    Click here for a searchable e-map that shows the individual projects included in this year’s capital works program.

    How is the CPI component of the General Rate increase calculated?

    • The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a general measure of changes in prices of consumer goods and services purchased by Australian households including for example transport, food and non-alcoholic beverages, and communication. This is applied to rates to reflect a ratepayer’s ability to pay.

    • This differs from the Local Government Price Index (LGPI) which is a financial indicator for inflation applicable to the cost of goods purchased by Local Government entities, which is higher than CPI. In order to deliver a balanced budget Council would need to deliver efficiencies in its expenditure base. 

    What does the 1% additional rates increase fund? How long do we have to pay for it?

    • 1% For Financial Sustainability - it should be noted that this version of LTFP differs from the adopted Long Term Financial Plan (LTFP) and 2020/21 Annual Business Plan and Budget in that the 1% previously excluded for the funding and debt servicing of major projects has been reintroduced for 4 years from 2021/22-2024/25.

    • Impact - The change will result in a rate payer with a property valued (Capital Value) at $500k incurring an additional circa $1.36 per week on average over the 10 years, but provides Council with around $13m in additional revenue which will contribute to funding the timely provision of required infrastructure.

    Please explain the difference between operating and capital expenditure/revenue.

    • The Operating Result - Revenue received and expenditure incurred by Council in the course of its normal operating (non-capital) activities. The Operating income received by Council includes items such as rates, user charges, specific operating grant revenue, and expenditure salaries and wages, utility and administrative costs.

    • The Capital Expenditure/Revenue – Is the amount of money Council will invest in the creation of new assets or the renewal/upgrade of our current assets. Associated revenue can include grant revenue supporting the delivery of capital projects or developer contributions. 

    Why do we need an operating surplus?

    Council requires an operating surplus, so that it can not only fund day-to-day operations and services for the community, but also fund the repayment of debt associated with planned Major Capital projects.

    How can people make early input and suggestions for the budget before it is framed?

    • Council Member Engagement - People can contact their Council Member who can forward any priorities at sessions held throughout the year for the Long Term Financial Plan and Annual Business Plan and Budget or alternatively directly to Council at any point during the year to council@mountbarker.sa.gov.au.

    • Long Term Financial Plan - People can also provide inputs and suggestions as part of this public consultation process for the Long Term Financial Plan.