Ballina Shire Council in good shape, say auditors

BALLINA Shire Council's 2012/13 financial statements have revealed that the surplus from all activities was $27.2 million.

Auditor Kevin Franey from Thomas Noble and Russell, yesterday told councillors that figure included about $21 million in road dedications from Roads and Maritime Services after the Ballina bypass was done.

Mr Franey said the council was in a good financial position.

When asked to compare Lismore City Council's $1 million surplus to Ballina's position, he said it was important to "compare apples with apples".

"From Ballina's $27 million surplus, you would have to take out the $21 million in roads dedicated to the council," he said.

"I would say that you'd put Ballina at a $5 million surplus compared to Lismore's $1 million. We are running a tight ship here."

Mr Franey congratulated Ballina council on its financial management, and said it was meeting benchmarks set by the Department of Local Government.

The council's general manager, Paul Hickey, said the operating result before capital amounts was a deficit of $5.6 million, which includes depreciation expenses of $20 million.

He said it was a clear improvement from the previous year's $10.6 million deficit.

The financial reports also showed the council is responsible for managing infrastructure, property, plant and equipment assets with a written down value of more than $1 million.

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