Analysis shows NSW’s councils are “fit for the future” financially

Far from crying poor, NSW councils are rich and getting richer: analysis shows that the amount of money they hold has grown by $1 billion over the past two years (from SMH, June 30).

The state government often repeats the controversial statistic that councils are losing $1 million a day, a claim that is central to their case for merging NSW’s 152 councils.

But that figure is contradicted by a new analysis of financial statements that reveals the staggering amount of money councils have on hand in cash and investments: $7.8 billion.

Screen shot 2015-07-04 at 1.49.07 PMAnd their bank accounts are growing fast. Councils have increased their portfolios by $1 billion in the past two years, or more than $1.3 million a day.

“Recent claims … that councils are ‘going broke’ in NSW by ‘$1million per day’ are shown to be fallacious by [these] growing cash balances,” Professor Brian Dollery, an expert in local government at the University of New England, said. “The fact-free nature of [the merger process is] laid bare for all to see.”

To read more see SMH.

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