Council to apply for another loan – this time of $100M


Central Coast Council is on the hunt for another loan, this time for up to $100M.

This comes on top of a loan for $50M secured in November and another $50M loan secured earlier last year before councillors were suspended.

“Negotiations with financial institutions are continuing regarding additional funding to supplement working capital,” the latest financial update from Council says.

The update was received and noted by Administrator Dick Persson at the December 14 meeting.

The update also talked about possible increases in fees and charges. But no details have been released at this stage.

The highlights of the business recovery update include a further reduction of the 2020-2021 CAPEX program to $170M and a structural reduction target in employee costs and materials and contracts of about $50M.

The earlier announced rate increase has increased to 15 per cent and a first tranche of underperforming property assets is moving ahead with the procurement of valuers and agents.

Chief operating officer Natalia Cowley said staff were finalising further tranches of proposed property asset sales and negotiations were under way for a loan to secure $50-$100M in capital works.

Meanwhile, the Forensic Audit into Council’s financial situation continues.

The report to the Council meeting said that that sharing of information and the initial assessment had been completed which will inform the scope of the final phases of the audit.

The Audit Report is currently still on track for completion late January, 2021.

The November investment report was also tabled at the meeting.

It shows that Council has almost $388M in investment funds providing millions of dollars each year in interest payments.

But the investment funds are restricted funds and cannot be used to pay for operational matters such as staff wages or other regular unrestricted costs.

Net return for November was $330,000 which was made up entirely of interest.

In November, the Council had a net inflow of $62.54M in restricted funds with a decrease of cash of $5.5M and an increase of $68M in investments.

Merilyn Vale