- Tuesday 12 May 2009
The Sunshine Coast Regional Council today acknowledged the importance of the revenue generated by its commercial business units following a presentation for development of 2009/10 budgets.
Mayor Bob Abbot said he recognised that in these financially trying times with the pending loss of revenue from water assets and the impact of shrinking revenue streams in other areas, businesses like the caravan parks and the airport were very important to council.
“Their income will help offset what is on the horizon for the next financial year as traditional income streams dry up,” Mayor Abbot said.
Financial management and business unit performance portfolio holder, Councillor Chris Thompson said that revenue would be substantially lower from interest earned on investments, development fees and with a range of other revenue streams likely to be reduced to a lesser extent.
“On the upside, amalgamation has resulted in some great synergies. In particular the combined marketing of council’s 10 caravan parks and their ability to spread occupancy across the region’s 1780 sites during busy periods results in increased revenues,” Cr Thompson said.
“Overall there are lots of reasons why caravan parks are a good business to be in at the moment.
“With the increased preference for domestic tourism and lower petrol prices, they are a business that is well placed to weather the global financial crisis.
“There are some cost pressures with increases in power and water charges; however, with baby boomers retiring in increasing numbers and taking the leisurely 'grand tour' around Australia, we expect to benefit from this increase in domestic visitors.
“In addition, we own the largest council operated airport in the country that today presented a strong financial outlook for 2009/10.
“The presentation demonstrated the airport’s role as a major driver for our regional economy by employing over 600 people and contributing $475m to the Sunshine Coast economy.
“The airport’s draft annual performance plan predicts modest growth in passenger numbers for the year at 950,000, which is still great business performance in these tough times.
“Council has made significant investments in the airport over the last four years and we are starting to see a very good return on these previous investments.”