December 2021 – A Message from the Chairman
The Hon. Jeff Kennett AC
Festive Greetings to all who read this message
We have survived the last two years and now look forward to the December celebrations before we return to work in 2022, hoping that we have consistency of policies from governments that will allow us all and ratepayers to plan ahead with certainty.
That said, while we in Victorians are learning to live with COVID, we cannot predict the future with certainty.
The first challenge will be to get through calendar years 2022 and 2023.
The three threats I have identified are:
- Sufficient Labour to meet not only Councils needs, but that of local businesses be they retail, hospitality, tourism or farming.
- Inflationary pressures because of 1. above, disruption to supply chains, and then rising interest rates which are still at record lows. When they rise, as they must to 4% or 5% there will be hardships for many, particularly those who have entered the housing markets with very low deposits and abnormally low interest rates.
- Massive State debts which are in the main being announced with gay abandon, funded by debt to fund infrastructure projects in and around the metropolitan cities and along the east coast of Australia. Again, as interest rates rise, and more of State revenues are used to pay interest on debt, expenditure on current government services will be squeezed, and the cry will go up, there is no money to fund projects in local government areas.
This will apply to State provided services generally, but it could heavily impact on local councils meeting their communities’ expectations.
However, we wake every morning to a new day. And while the challenges of the future are in many ways unpredictable, the reality is better to be here to address the challenges than not be here at all.
We must be optimistic about the future, but realistic about today and the challenges ahead.
Keeping or getting our houses in order remains the best policy for survival and then growth.
Ensuring the Jaws Ratio always see revenue greater than expenditure.
Importantly when we identify a trend heading in the wrong direction, to act quickly.
Better to address a problem than allow it to fester.
So, for now, as we run down to the end of 2021, and approach the start of 2022, let us be realistically confident about the things we can control, the responsibilities we have, the communities we serve.
On behalf of the Board and team at CT Management I wish you, and your families well over the festive season. Stay safe and healthy, for I suspect when we return, we are all going to have our noses to the grindstone in 2022.
The Hon Jeff Kennett AC
CT Management Group