Published on 08 May 2024


Edward River Council (ERC) continues to affirm its solid financial position amidst the Federal Government inquiry into the sustainability of local government, convening its first Community Session on its Draft 2024-2025 Operational Plan and Budget. Monday evening’s meeting at the Deniliquin Town Hall drew approximately 20 engaged community members who took the opportunity to discuss Council’s financial sustainability and ask questions on next year’s operational plan and budget.

The meeting provided an opportunity to emphasise the prudent financial management strategies employed by Council. In addressing questions on financial stability, ERC Interim CEO Gary Arnold reinforced Council’s robust financial position and underscored its commitment to bolstering long-term sustainability.

"The Draft Operational Plan and Budget represent our dedication to delivering essential services and fostering community development," said Mr Gary Arnold.

“But we are also still refining the budget to bring it into balance and reduce spending on items such as fuel and vehicles. While work is ongoing, we have so far found savings of $1.25 million.”

Key highlights of the draft Operational Plan include:

· Completion of remaining flood repair works.
· Enhancements to ensure a safe and reliable water supply.
· Implementation of a three-bin waste collection service, integrating recycling and FOGO (food organics, garden organics) management under a regional contract.
· Facilitation of the September local government elections, including support for potential candidates and an induction program for the incoming Council members.

Despite fiscal challenges, ERC's budget forecasts an operating surplus, demonstrating prudent financial management and strategic allocation of resources. The Council is committed to delivering essential services while maintaining fiscal responsibility.

"We acknowledge the concerns raised by Murray River Council to the Federal Government’s inquiry, and we are committed to addressing similar challenges within our area. We are planning for an operating surplus but, like all small rural councils, we are still reliant on capital grant funding to be able to maintain our assets like roads, water and sewer," said Mr Arnold. "Our focus remains on delivering tangible benefits to our community while ensuring long-term financial sustainability. And we believe we are on track to achieve just that."

Edward River Council commissioned a review into its financial sustainability in early 2023. It adopted the report with nine strategies to implement over the medium to long term, aimed at shoring up Council’s ability to support growth and renew asset infrastructure for the community. A number of those actions have been included in the draft 24-25 Operational Plan for implementation.

Residents are invited to provide feedback on the draft Operational Plan and Budget during the public exhibition period, which concludes on 20 May. Various avenues for engagement have been established, including community feedback sessions in all the villages and at Deniliquin Town Hall.

Council encourages residents to access the draft documents online or in hard copy at the Customer Service Centre and Edward River Library. Additionally, community members can attend scheduled community sessions for further information and discussion.

"We encourage active participation from our residents to ensure our plans resonate with their needs and aspirations. We really value the discussion we have had with people so far, and look forward to more conversations in our villages next week before a final session in the Deni Town Hall next Thursday,” concluded Mr Arnold.

Have your say:

Residents are invited to attend a community session in their local area at:

Wednesday 8 May, 5-6 PM: Pretty Pine Hall
Thursday 9 May, 5-6 PM: Mayrung Hall
Monday 13 May, 5-6 PM: Booroorban Hall
Tuesday 14 May, 5-6 PM: Conargo Hall
Wednesday 15 May, 5-6 PM: Blighty Hall
Thursday 16 May, 5:30-6:30 PM: Deniliquin Town Hall

Residents can submit their feedback via email to haveyoursay@edwardriver.nsw.gov.au or in person at the Customer Service Centre or via mail to the Interim Chief Executive Officer, Edward River Council, PO Box 270, Deniliquin NSW 2710.

For more information and to access the draft documents, visit

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