Kempsey Shire Council Annual Report 2014-15
and General Purpose Financial Statements for the year ended 30 June 2015

Kempsey Shire Council, November 2015


Cover of Kempsey Shire Council Annual Report 2014-15

Mayor’s message

In striving to meet the objectives set out in our Community Strategic Plan, Council achieved a strong operational performance in 2014-015 by driving efficiencies in the way we run the organisation and improving our financial position.

Council continued to consolidate the short-term and long-term plans put in place over the past three years on how to achieve the best outcome for the Macleay Valley community. We have now moved into the delivery phase and this will see us reach financial sustainability over the next 10 years.

Fundamental for any local government area is the maintenance, replacement and upgrade of its infrastructure assets, and in 2014-15 a substantial program to repair and replace ageing assets across the Shire was rolled out. This included a prioritised road refurbishment program, upgrades to five bridges, and more than 2,000 metres of water and sewer mains relined or replaced. Along with the completed upgrade to the Kempsey Airport and significant progress on the Smith Street project to rejuvenate Kempsey’s business and retail centre, it was a proud day for the Macleay with the opening of the new SES Headquarters in Gladstone.

To grow and strengthen our economy, Council looked for new ways to generate development and jobs growth within the Macleay Valley. This included the completion of the Kempsey Shire Council Rural Residential Land Release Strategy, the negotiation of a lease at Kempsey Airport for training student pilots from China, and submitting the winning tender to host the NSW Country Surf Life Saving Championships in 2016 and 2017. Council further consolidated gains made in building a strong agribusiness sector in the Macleay Valley with the development of the Macleay Valley Food Bowl (MVFB) branding and marketing campaign, and held successful MVFB workshops to build networks for local producers across the agribusiness sector.

Council partnered with local community groups, schools, government agencies and local residents on a range of programs to embrace our community’s core values of being Healthy, Wealthy, Safe and Sociable. At a grass-roots level, our Healthy Communities team worked with volunteers to develop and operate ‘The HUB’ community facility, and sponsored themed workshops to encourage individuals in our community to feel included and connected. Council also provided nearly 46,000 hours of service to the most vulnerable in our community, the aged and disabled, to assist them in living full and independent lives.

The Macleay celebrated its proud cultural and artistic heritage with a range of events that showcased the diverse talent and history within our community. These included 3,000 people enjoying the vibrant Macleay River Festival in September to the 90th Anniversary Commemoration of Kinchela Boys Home, as well as the celebration of new and outstanding local citizens at the Australia Day Awards Ceremony and the entertaining Slim Dusty Music Memories Week.

Council is continuing to work with the NSW Government throughout its ‘Fit for the Future’ reform process. Independent reports have recognised that Kempsey Shire has the scale and capacity to achieve financial sustainability by standing as our own council area, while we continue to develop shared service arrangements with our neighbouring council partners where financial and efficiency benefits are identified.

I am pleased to present this year’s Annual Report, and the good results demonstrate the commitment by Council’s management team, staff and my fellow Councillors to provide efficient and value for money services to our local communities. I feel Council has built a strong foundation for the challenges we face, and we understand the responsibility we hold in delivering on our core strategies to ensure the best outcomes for the Macleay Valley community in the years ahead.

– Mayor, Councillor Liz Campbell