Mayor's community Message

19 June

MISTAKES CORRECTED

In this instalment of my narrative looking at the history of the civic centre project at 1 Devlin Street, I will be detailing how Council acted quickly and decisively following the discovery of the improper internal funds transfer of $95 million in 2022.

In collaboration with the Office of Local Government (OLG), Council developed and then successfully progressed an Action Plan to rectify the previous mismanagement of funds contained in Council’s Restricted Reserves.

Although $52.5 million had been spent on infrastructure and other worthy community projects, the Action Plan resulted in $42.5 million of unspent funds, including $35.5 million for Ryde Central, being returned to their correct accounts and for their intended purpose. 

A new Cash Reserves Policy for the future utilisation of Council’s Restricted Reserves Funds was adopted and an external review of City of Ryde’s Voluntary Planning Agreements (VPA) was conducted to investigate the financial implications and liabilities on Council.

By March 2024, The Audit Office NSW (AO) had cleared City of Ryde’s Financial Statements for the 2022/23 financial year, providing City of Ryde with an Unqualified Report – with no issues raised at the completion of its audit.

I am proud to say that Council disclosed all matters in an open, ethical, transparent manner and to the highest financial standards possible.

However, the improper transfer of funds for the Ryde Central Project has resulted in significant financial implications for Council’s ongoing operations and viability to perform at our current levels of services, programs, and other projects across the community.

In voting to maintain public ownership of the Ryde Central site at the November 2023 Ordinary Meeting, Council deferred the construction of any new civic building at the site until sufficient funding can be identified. Staff are still working with the OLG, along with the ICAC, on the financial matters relating to this project.

Next week: the financial impact of Council’s Voluntary Planning Agreements.

ARMENIAN FLAG RAISING

I was honoured to attend Kissing Point Park last week for the first of what will become annual ceremonies recognising Armenian Republic Day.

This is a fantastic initiative that was brought to Council by Clr Sarkis Yedelian, my predecessor as Mayor of this great City, and is a wonderful way of recognising and supporting our significant population of Armenian descent.

The City of Ryde was the first local council to recognise the Armenian Genocide and we’ve continued our advocacy over many years.

Yours Sincerely,

Clr Brown - Mayor

Clr Trenton Brown
Mayor - City of Ryde
Phone: Office of the Mayor 9952 8222.
Email mayor@ryde.nsw.gov.au