Audit lists Gympie Regional Council as financially stable, but results lower than last year.
Audit lists Gympie Regional Council as financially stable, but results lower than last year. Greg Miller

Audit: council 'low risk' but a drop from last year

GYMPIE Regional Council is a "lower risk" of becoming unsustainable according to the latest report from the Queensland Audit Office.

Across the three major categories (average operating surplus, net financial liabilities and asset sustainability), the council's results fell within the best target range.

A council spokeswoman said the report's results were "extremely positive".

"Council is happy with budget outcomes and remains vigilant," she said.

"We are currently examining and resetting sustainable targets and all key components as part of the annual budget process."

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While finding the council as low risk, the audit report listed the council's results in the three categories as "deteriorating trends".

Although these trends only apply from year to year, audit reports from the past four years show the average operating surplus ratio has continued to drop since 2013, although the council's risk level has remained in the lowest category.

The report also showed operational revenues were not enough to cover operational expenses in 2015-16, with a current operating surplus ratio of -6.48%.

The spokeswoman said overall there was no concern about the audit office's report and the breakup between capital and operational items "can be very subjective" and the council's overall operating result was a surplus of $2.27 million.

"The 2015-16 result is a reflection of accounting adjustments required to meet current accounting standards," she said.

"We are not concerned by the report's findings as it clearly states that our budget is in a low-risk category."

She added the council's financial results over the past five years have been "significantly impacted by accounting for the natural disaster recovery" and should bounce back in the future.

"The 2016-17 results are expected to return to more normal accounting settings," she said.

This audit followed a report last year by the office, which listed the Gympie council as one of a number of councils in danger of becoming financially unsustainable.

According to the October report, the council's reported average asset sustainability was expected to trend downwards over the next decade.