KI Council forecasts 'back to basics' budget for 2019/20

The KI Council building in Kingscote. File photo
The KI Council building in Kingscote. File photo

Kangaroo Island Council elected members and senior administration staff have worked collaboratively to reduce the total expenditure of next year's budget by almost $1.5 million.

Mayor Michael Pengilly said this came in the wake of concerns expressed by elected members and the community that the council needed to get "back to basics".

In response, the council had taken a hard look at its budgeted operating and capital expenditure and had found improved efficiencies, or made necessary cuts, to meet the budget requirements, he said.

Last week's budget deliberations determined the main focus going forward would be on roads, footpaths and fire prevention for the Island, and that the council's administrative priorities must be realigned to focus on these key deliverables, he said.

Operating expenditure will be reduced by $790,000 compared with last year and capital expenditure will be down in the order of $660,000, comprising a total reduction of approximately $1.5 million, placing the council in an overall net cash surplus position.

Key focus areas for capital expenditure are the construction of unsealed roads, sealed roads, kerbs and paths, and the development of programs to support bushfire prevention.

"This doesn't mean there will a drop in service levels provided to the community, however funding will be tighter," Mr Pengilly said.

"We owe it to the community to reduce costs while improving our critical infrastructure.

"We are getting back to basics. This is a 'needs' budget rather than a 'wants budget'. We want to live within our means in order to reach a sustainable position in the future."