CHCC announces it has $233m in bank due to “loans” and unused ‘developer contributions.’

One of the first items to be considered by CHCC Councillors at the first Council meeting for 2021 is a report highlighting it has bank balances and Investments as at 30 November 2020 totaling $233,033,949.38.

By The Editor

The figure includes income from loans, Developer Contributions and other avenues that form the restricted accounts and are committed for future works. Developer Contributions are also known as Section 94 contributions.

Details about this can be found on the agenda for this Thursday’s Council meeting here; https://infocouncil.coffsharbour.nsw.gov.au/Open/2021/02/CO_20210211_AGN_2235_AT_WEB.htm

The report arrived just prior to the very weekend that the issue of unused developer contributions received an airing on the Coffs Coast Independent News Facebook site prompted by the following post by Rodger Pryce;

“One of the major negatives in doing business in Coffs Harbour for many years has been the cost. Section 94 contributions are paid to Council by developers to offset the increased level of services required for the development.

There has always been a doubt that the actual cost was at the level of the fees charged.

I don’t like rumours because often they are disproved, however there is a consistent rumour, that there is a Council bank account, predominantly made up of past Section 94 contributions with a balance in the order of $200 million.

I am identifying this due to the fact that NSW Government has identified Coffs Council as collecting more rates and spending less on services than most other Councils in NSW.

I am also aware of the lack of basic services being maintained, such as roads, reserves, bridges, footpaths and our tip.

The complaints are here, being rightfully highlighted.

Having been on the other side of the fence and having paid thousands of dollars of Section 94 contributions, why is the money put into a bank account and not spend on what it was collected for?

We need probity here, we need to know what Council is not only trying to do, with our money, such as $100 million probably on a CCS building wanted by a select few, but what they are not doing, when they have the money sitting in the Bank.

It is like they think we don’t deserve to have our own money spent on the things they collected the money for.”

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The realisation that the ‘rumour’ was actually ‘fact’ led to some of the following comments after I posted the link on the CCIN Facebook site to this Thursdays agenda;

Martin Pundyk so why is it necessary to borrow $45m +++ for the CCS? Hopefully someone will ask this in the meeting as well as getting an update on the progress of CCS.” Rodger Pryce: – “Martin Pundyk depends how much of the $233m is accessible as cash, I suppose.”

Rodger Pryce – ” I wonder if the loans mentioned are amounts borrowed by Council, assessed as assets or, funds that Council has lent to others? …… So, definition of investments is?? Does it include land and buildings and the like!”

Rodger Pryce – “The developers who have to pay these contributions, invest millions of dollars into their projects, to not have the contributions spent is not allowing the full benefit of their investment to be realised.

This also results in the ratepayers , residents and visitors to Coffs, not being able to enjoy increased and improved amenities and services, such as roads, footpaths, , upgraded public amenities like maintenance of reserves, roadsides.

How do the property owners at places like Emerald Beach feel, having to pay for footpaths and driveways when Council has a financial balance exceeding $233 million? How much cash up front is coming from the Airport lease and what is going to happen to that?”

Cr Amos

CCO comment: These are all very and pertinent questions in our opinion. Ones that residents and ratepayers have every right to know the answers to particularly given what to many increasingly appears to be more run down infrastructure and services locally too.

The question on any link between monies for the controversial airport lease is timely as the very last item on the agenda on Thursday night is this Question On Notice from Councillor Paul Amos (pictured left);

“The recent awarding of the long term lease over the Coffs Harbour Regional Airport was supported publicly by a forward cumulative “forecast“ based on projections provided by the bidder over 99 years.

Due to significant variations in the continuity of when income is expected to be received, what is the actual net present value of the income stream, as presented to Councilors and applying the diligence of consultants KPMG for the Coffs Harbour Councilors ultimate consideration?

That is, what is value to the community expressed in today’s dollars, of the proposed 99-year lease term?”

TomorrowCCO analyses the airport lease – the ‘knowns’ and unknowns, the statements made by both the CHCC and Palisade Investments and whether residents and ratepayers have got a good deal as claimed.

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One thought on “CHCC announces it has $233m in bank due to “loans” and unused ‘developer contributions.’

  1. Why is this current council allowed to make major decisions at present. Taking into account there should have been a election last year and was canceled due to the pandemic. I think the state government needs to reign in this committee as they are not supporting the ratepayers. We have the highest rates in NSW and very little services. I’m angry that I pay more rates here than I did in Sydney and still got kerbside pick up twice a year. They are clearly stocking their own agenda!

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