A useful state government website, Know Your Council, provides interesting past and predictive data about Victorian Councils’ financial performance and sustainability.
With respect to Moonee Valley, it shows non-recurrent government grants to MVCC have dwindled since 2009 and that the proposed capital works program to 2022 will alter Council’s financial situation quite considerably.
The data on the Know Your Council site is based on the information Councils are required to provide on a range of measures.
I don’t pretend to understand all of the implications of each measure, but they do present an overall picture that MVCC has been relatively stable, possibly underspending on capital works, but is about to embark on a massive capital works program that changes the financial scenario.
Firstly, this graph, using data from the Victorian Grants Commission, published on the Know Your Council site, shows that rates and charges have increased 60% since 2009-10, and that recurrent government grants have increased 70%, but that VGC grants have remained static at $3m and non-recurrent government grants (the yellow segment) have dropped from $4.6m in 2009-10 to $0.2m in 2018-9.
Here’s the grant data isolated from other data:
That’s looking backwards. Looking forwards, and there are some changes afoot resulting from the projected capital works spend.
The following graphs are from the Know Your Council site. The first graph shows that between 2016 and 2022, MVCC will have halved its assets/liabilities and will be tracking at half the rate of other councils.
This next graph shows the impact of the capital works spend to 2022. Of course, if money is being spent, there will be an impact, but it is quite dramatic and considerable compared to other councils.
The note indicates that the drop in 17/18 is due to term deposits less than 90 days, but the longer term drop is a result of capital works expenditure projected and will leave MVCC well down on other councils in 2022.
MVCC currently has no borrowings, and has recently changed its projected borrowings, taking more from cash, but this next graph is also quite dramatic.
It does need to balanced against the graph below showing that the repayment of loans as a percentage of rates will be similar to other councils in 2022, but I understand that this may rise in the years not shown in the graph.
Other data does show that the projected surplus as a percentage of revenue does remain stable over future forecasts, but the graphs above do show quite clearly the impact of the capital works spend council is planning.
None of this means Moonee Valley shouldn’t spend money on important capital works projects, but it does indicate the impact of spending, and the significance of the drop in non-recurrent grants to assist Council build community facilities.
This doesn’t quite answer the question of what Moonee Valley can afford, but it does give some context to the discussions around expenditure on large projects across the municipality.
On a positive note, it is amazing what a little bit of grass seed and rain can do for a dog park in Travancore!
Travancore Dog Park in March and June 2019.