At this week's Finance, Properties and Tenders Committee meeting the City's independent financial auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers, confirmed our position as the number one Council in NSW for financial management.
While other governments struggle to control budgets, our long-term planning means we have a fully-funded, $1.9 billion 10-year infrastructure plan, which includes:
- $440 million for Green Square, including a new town centre with a library and plaza, an aquatic centre and sports field, and the conversion of the former South Sydney Hospital into modern community facilities;
- $220 million to transform George Street and connect laneways as part of the NSW Government's light rail project;
- $240 million to upgrade public areas such as footpaths, roadways and paving - including $51 million on granite paving for footpaths in the city centre;
- $130 million to upgrade the City's parks and green spaces, including $11.7 million on Perry Park and $13.6 million on Johnstons Creek and Harold Park in Glebe;
- $53 million for new child care centres, and;
- $37 million to integrate the Barangaroo development with Millers Point.
In PwCs own words the City "meets or exceeds all measures" in NSW Government's Fit for the Future plan for local government reform. They said the City's financial position "can't get much better than where we are at the moment".
This strong financial position has not happened by accident. In the 1990s, the City of Sydney was close to bankruptcy.
When I became Lord Mayor, I reinstated the Audit Risk and Compliance Committee. The Committee - which includes external independent members - is one of the ways we ensure good governance and financial responsibility.
Ten years of stable leadership has put the City in an excellent position to deliver the kind of facilities and services our community deserves.
(Image of the new Green Square Library courtesy of Stewart Hollenstein in association with Colin Stewart architects.)