IPART, The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal has found BMCC ‘Fit for the Future’. Here is the Assessment Summary.
Our party controlled Council are backslapping each other about it but at the same time are keeping very quiet about the fine print.
3 years ago, BMCC was told by the NSW Government that they were “not able to incorporate any further loan funding” (source: NSW Treasury Corporation). Since then BMCC has been slashing maintenance and services as well as selling OUR real estate assets to pay off THEIR debt (currently at $46.8 million). They are now increasing rates by 40% and have increased waste charges in order to meet the NSW Government’s “Fit for the Future” financial accounting standards. All this whilst giving the already highly paid senior management, the Mayor and Councillors pay rises!
Blue Mountains Council has been rated by the NSW Treasury Corporation as having “Weak” financial sustainability. Many Councils with better financial ratings have been found “Unfit”. How can this be?
Firstly, BMCC is a special case inside a world heritage national park and was completely exempted from all the scale and capacity requirements that made a lot of other Councils “unfit”.
Secondly, BMCC was assessed on it’s very own rosy forecasts for 2020. To me this is a bit like putting the fox in charge of the hen house. BMCC is absolutely brilliant at glossy reports and they haven’t failed to impress with their current long term financial plan that was submitted to IPART.
BMCC’s financial plan that was submitted to the NSW Government was all smoke and mirrors and they haven’t delivered the promises. In the 2014/2015 financial year they subsequently made a $3 million loss. Now they have have very quietly released a $10.1 million loss for the 2015/2016 financial year.
All these latest poor figures were released after IPART handed down it’s assessment.
BMCC has been selling assets to reduce their debt which is at the maximum allowed (currently $46.8 million). See my page on the great asset sell off.
Here is my page on the “Creative” Depreciation Accounting at BMCC which artificially improved the bottom line by over $30 million in the past 2 years at the stroke of a pen. $30 million that BMCC has been claiming to be productivity improvements.