‘‘THE highest I’ve seen in my 30 years in local government.’’
That’s how The Hills Council’s external auditor Dennis Banicevic summarised council’s liquidity level during a presentation on its annual financial statements for 2012-13 on Tuesday.
Liquidity measures a council’s ability to pay its short-term obligations as well as providing an indication of the viability of the council in the long-run.
‘‘It’s 11 times the benchmark,’’ Mr Banicevic, from PriceWaterhouseCoopers, said of the council.
‘‘You’ve got a capital budget of anything between $50 and $100 million a year... achieved without borrowing.
‘‘The council is very good at collecting rates [and] is actually travelling very well financially.’’
Rates make up 46 per cent of the council’s revenue. Its operating surplus is $34 million — down from $70 million the previous year.
The council has an infrastructure backlog of $31 million, an improvement from $61 million last year.
‘‘For some of the larger councils of your size we see that backlog at $200 to $300 million,’’ Mr Banicevic said.
He predicted the backlog would continue to decline if the council continued doing what it’s doing.
‘‘‘I’m excited’, as Big Kev would say,’’ councillor Andrew Jefferies said.
‘‘It would be great to see by the end of this [council term] we get as close to [a] zero [infrastructure backlog] as possible.’’