Singleton is already saving for the challenges of the future with a target set for the newly-established Legacy Fund to grow to $40 million in just its first four years.
The trust was formally created at Monday night’s ordinary Singleton Council meeting, building on economic opportunities now to help support the prosperity of the LGA moving forward.
Singleton mayor Sue Moore said the aim was to create a reserve to help ensure council’s long-term financial viability, as well as underwrite openings to drive the prosperity of the LGA for generations to come.
The Singleton Legacy Fund incorporates:
- Community Economic Development Fund
- Roads Fund
- Infrastructure Management Fund
- Commercial Property Fund
“There are a lot of conversations happening now about what the structure of our economy will look like in the years to come,” Cr Moore said.
“And, whatever your view, it’s fair to say that like every other LGA across Australia, it’s going to be different.
“We are fortunate to be in a position now where we have benefited from mining, and council is also making a more concerted efforted to develop our commercial property portfolio to help reduce our reliance on rate income.
“The Singleton Legacy Fund draws those funds together under a formalised structure to make sure we’re making good decisions to benefit the people who will come after us, the challenges they will face and the opportunities that present themselves.
“Because of the work council has already done over the past several years, there’s already more than $34 million in the kitty and we’re confident that could grow to $40 million by 2025.”
The fund will be administered by the mayor, deputy mayor and council’s Executive Leadership Team, and reported via the elected council to the community on an annual basis.
General manager Jason Linnane said each of the four components would have specific management plans and requirements that direct how the funds can be used.
“This approach will not reduce current service levels or annual budget allocations,” he explained.
“Council’s long-term financial plan will be developed to support the intent of the Legacy Fund as well as the continued operations of the organisation.
“We have seen decisions that have resulted in significant opportunities for our LGA, and while it would be just as easy to spend the money now, we want to make sure we’re thinking strategically and being disciplined about the best outcomes for our community now and in the years to come.
“This fund acknowledges we’re just at the start, and sets up a legacy for the people who will be elected to council, who will work at council and who will live in our community well into the future.
“It’s about inter-generational equity and playing the long game.”