Fraser Coast Regional Council meeting.
Fraser Coast Regional Council meeting.

REVEALED: How Fraser Coast council cut its debt in half

THE amount of debt owed by the Fraser Coast Regional Council has been cut in half since it reached a peak of $174.5 million in 2012.

It has come as the council effectively froze rates across the region when the budget was handed down in June.

The council's current debt stands at $85.5 million, which had been achieved through good financial management, Fraser Coast Mayor George Seymour said.

Cr Seymour said while the council continued to deliver infrastructure such as the Fraser Coast Recreation and Sport Precinct, upgrades to Fraser Coast roads and other vital projects, debt was steadily decreasing.

At the start of the year the Chronicle revealed the debt had been reduced to $98.7m, the first time council debt had been under $100m in a decade.

Cr Seymour said the most important thing was that debt did not continue to grow beyond what was sustainable.

He said that by keeping borrowings at a minimum, future generations wouldn't be burdened by unsustainable rate rises.

"Our budgeting process has ensured we are paying down debt," he said.

"It's pleasing that it's not going the other way.

"I don't count it as a great achievement, but I am happy it's going down."

The reduction in debt has reduced the amount of interest the council is paying considerably, Cr Seymour said.

He said it would also put the council in a good position if the need to borrow money arose in the future.

Cr Seymour credited the council's improved financial position to the finance team, which he said gave great advice.

The councillors themselves also had a collective position that agreed to concentrate on reducing debt, he said.

The council's debt is lower than pre-amalgamation.

At the time of amalgamation, Hervey Bay City Council owed $71.6m in debt, while Maryborough City Council owed $23.1m.

Tiaro Shire Council owed $2.6m, while Woocoo Shire Council came to amalgamtion without any debt.