Kiama Municipal Council has been assessed and found to be fit for the future as part of the ongoing financial health check conducted by the Department of Local Government.
The Fit for the Future objectives help ensure councils are able to deliver quality services and infrastructure to the community.
“I am very pleased that we won the fight to oppose the amalgamation of Kiama and Shoalhaven Councils,” Kiama MP Gareth Ward said.
“From day one, I staked my reputation on opposing the merger and took on my own side of politics to stop the proposed amalgamation.
“Having won the fight to stop the amalgamation proceeding, it is important that Councillors make wise decisions about ratepayer funds.
“Today’s announcement is a strong indication that Kiama Council is living within its means and managing its assets well.
“I take this opportunity to congratulate the Councillors and staff of Kiama Council on this latest endorsement. Strong and sensible management of ratepayer’s funds and assets should be the objective of all councils and I’m pleased that Kiama Council is continuing to demonstrate that it is fit for the future,” Mr Ward concluded.
Mayor Mark Honey said the Minister for Local Government, Gabrielle Upton, had written to the Council, confirming the assessment.
“I want to thank the Minister and especially the Member for Kiama, Gareth Ward, for his strong support throughout this process,” he said.
“This is a fantastic outcome for the Municipality as it allows Council to continue and improve the great work we do for the community.
“Being declared Fit for the Future is an important part of our Community Strategic Plan, which has just been released for comment, as well the Long Term Financial Plan that underpins it.”
Kiama Council was originally assessed as meeting three of seven criteria as part of the Fit for the Future process.
A revised Long Term Financial Plan was submitted to the NSW Government in November 2016.
Clr Honey said the positive news was a testament to work of Council staff who had embarked on an improvement strategy following the original assessment.
“The reassessment confirms that the community is in good hands when it comes to their Council managing their finances properly,” he said.
“Importantly, it also we can access cheaper loans from the NSW Government to fund the Kiama Aged Care Centre of Excellence and Gerringong Library.”
The draft Kiama Community Strategic Plan, Delivery Program and Operational Plan are all currently on exhibition until June 16.