What use for cash?

December 04, 2017

Moira Shire has again failed. It has failed to spend, for the benefit of shire residents and businesses, the considerable amounts it collects from ratepayers.

The shire’s financial report for 2016-17 shows a surplus (a profit) of $10.2million — that’s almost one third of the total rates paid to the shire last year. And it has accumulated even more — $30.8million — in funds sitting uselessly in bank accounts earning a meagre rate of interest.

Those funds should be spent on the many worthy causes around the shire and in satisfying unmet needs of the shire’s businesses and residents for new and enhanced facilities.

The shire has guaranteed income each year from rates, so there is no reason why it needs to continue making profits and accumulating unspent funds.

The 2016-17 profit follows sizeable surpluses in the previous two years, and funds on hand (cash at bank and term deposits) have been more than $24million in each of the past three years.

Ratepayers deserve an explanation for the poor performance of the shire, and an explanation of where the excessive amounts of accumulated funds are intended to be spent. These funds are, after all, ratepayers’ money, not the shire’s.

— Mick Shadwick, Burramine

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