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Welcome to the 2014 Autumn edition of the Mead Perry Group newsletter.

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In this Issue

  • What have we been doing?
  • New Business Development Role
  • New Senior Consultant
  • Feature: Maximising Plant Operation Performance
  • Keys to Financial Sustainability
  • Western Australian Council Amalgamations Update
  • Our Specialist Services
  • Mead Perry Group joined Facebook!
  • Our Local Buy registration contract details

What have we been doing?

We have been keeping busy with a variety of specialist projects for Councils throughout Australia, including but not limited to;
  • Organisational Review - 1 Council;
  • On-cost Review - 1 Council;
  • Plant Hire Review - 1 Council;
  • Policy Review - 1 Council;
  • Governance and Compliance Review - 1 Council;
  • Workforce Risk Analysis -  1 Council;
  • Rates Review - 6 Councils;
  • Change Projects - 2 Projects - 1 Council
  • Rates and Utilities Review - 1 Council
  • 10 Year Financial Forecast Modelling - 1 Council;
  • Corporate Plan - 1 Council;
  • Performance Review - 2 Councils;
Does your organisation need advice or assistance in any of these areas?

We can help.


MPG feel it is important to ensure good communication and networking continues to be a high priority with both existing and new clients to better serve needs of local governments and the issues that immediately affect you!



 

John and Bulloo Shire Council's Community Change Project Team.

Bulloo Shire Council's Corporate Change Project Team.

George Inocentes and Gary Cook of Brandon and Associates, Scott Mead of MPG, Cr Doug Clifford and John Perry of MPG inspect the new Bulloo Shire Council Administration building.


 

John Perry checks out the landscaping at the new Administration Building in Thargomindah.

New Business Development Role
 
MPG is pleased to announce that, after six months of intense learning about Local Government, our clients and our business, Cait will be adding Business Development to her Executive Support duties.

We are looking forward to delivering improved service and follow up to our valued clients through initiatives that Cait will be implementing. She will be talking to our clients on a regular basis and will be out and about at conferences and events. Her first official event will be a trip to Bamaga via Thursday Island for the LGMA North Queensland Branch Compass Series Conference. Well done Cait and good luck.


 
New Senior Consultant
 
Mead Perry Group is pleased to announce that Leanne Rogers will be joining our firm as a Senior Consultant.
Leanne brings with her 20 years of Local Government experience, is a qualified Certified Practising Accountant and JP, has a Bachelor of Commerce and in 2009 Leanne was awarded the LGMA Young Manager of the Year.
In addition to her extensive experience in all areas of Local Government, Leanne's finance background will further enhance MPG's capacity to support our clients.

Being based in North QLD, Leanne will be well placed to provide on the ground support to our clients in the region but is also looking forward to travelling across QLD and interstate, delivering quality service to Councils.
 
 Welcome to the MPG Team, Leanne. 
 


 

The Carcoory Ruins in Diamantina Shire.
The Cacoory Homestead was built in 1877 of local limestone by Hector and Norman Wilson.

Heading from Bedourie to Birdsville for a Corporate Planning workshop.

Feature Story

MPG working with Councils to maximise plant operation performance.

Over its 14 years of operation the Mead Perry Group has assisted numerous Councils to improve the performance of their plant operations. Generally a comprehensive plant operation review will include the review and analysis of information available in Council’s General Ledger, Plant and Job Costing systems and the interviewing of Council staff in order to identify issues which may affect Council’s capacity to operate a profitable and sustainable plant operation. The report is designed to assist in the making of informed strategic decisions about the management and operation of its plant activity.
 
Senior MPG consultant Mr Scott Mead told us that “for many Councils their plant operation presents it with its best opportunity to generate revenue from sources other than its ratepayers and is likely to be an area in which efficiencies can be improved over time.” He said that “particularly when conducting externally funded / contract works, the more effectively the plant operation performs, the more profit is available to Council to utilise in other activities or for the development of community infrastructure”.

“We at MPG believe that in carrying out a review of this nature, Council and Management are demonstrating good management practice and a willingness to continually improve performance to the benefit of the residents of the Council area”
Mr Mead said.

In discussing the detailed analysis of plant operations data, MPG Senior consultant Mr John Perry pointed out that the use of custom designed modelling tools allowed MPG to provide Council and Management with the information required to make informed decisions in relation to its plant operation.

He pointed out that “our reviews are conducted to provide Council with an independent analysis and assessment of all aspects of its plant operation”.
In addition he said that “the reports make recommendations on a range of matters which, if adopted and implemented, are expected to immediately improve the recording, manageability and accuracy of costs associated with plant”.

Mr Perry also pointed out that plant operations reform must be followed by the regular monitoring of the plant operation’s performance and at least an annual review of plant performance and hire rates.

As part of our aim to assist Councils maintain best practice governance generally, the MPG team believe that in terms of enhancing the sustainability of its plant activity, it is important that Council adjusts its pricing in line with cost increases and regularly review costs, overheads and plant hire rates. Accurate rates will reflect the real cost of plant operations and therefore the costs charged to jobs will be more accurate. Importantly, Council will be aware of what the full costs of its activities are so that it can make informed decisions about its operation in the future.



 

Scott and Guyra Shire Council General Manager Peter Stewart. Assisting Guyra Shire Council is MPG's FIRST job for a NSW Council.



 

Cait and Scott stop for a team meeting between Bedourie and Birdsville.

Cait attending meetings at Armidale Dumaresq Council, NSW.

Barcoo Shire Council Administration Centre, Jundah, Western QLD.
 

Quality information and financial knowledge are the keys to financial sustainability
 

The Mead Perry Group has been supporting Queensland Councils since 2001 to understand and manage their financial sustainability. This experience has led them to observe that, the support and delivery of informed and quality financial decision making by Councillors and staff has two critical elements.
 

 

  • A basic understanding of the fundamentals of financial reports and
  • Clarity on the short, medium and long term impact of their decisions.
     
Over the years they have found a broad lack of understanding of financial reports and fundamental financial sustainability matters such as funding and utilising depreciation, capital funding and cash position. They have observed that this can lead to uninformed decision making which results in unintended outcomes.
According to MPG senior consultant Scott Mead, “Making decisions in this environment has the potential to deliver negative results and by necessity restricts forward thinking and focuses action on the short term”.
MPG has worked with several Councils over the past 13 years to establish an accurate picture of their financial position, work to give staff and Councillors a clear understanding of their position and how it came about and to work with them to implement strategies to address short medium and long term sustainability concerns. This will often involve asking questions that challenge the status quo and facilitating the exploration of new ideas and business models.
Typically the areas targeted include;
  • identification of cost savings,
  • reviewing depreciation costs,
  • identifying and understanding overheads,
  • identifying and developing options to maximise rates and charges revenue and
  • enhancing the profitability of any business activities.

 

MPG senior consultant Mr John Perry explained that “This experience has confirmed for us the value of accurate financial forecasting which gives Councillors and staff the confidence to make informed decisions. Good forecasting and financial knowledge importantly provides Council with the flexibility to take advantage of opportunities or respond to financial shocks with confidence”.

Western Australian Council Amalgamations

After the final proposal on the local government reform was released on November 12th 2013, the Western Australian public were invited to provide submissions to the Local Government Advisory Board, 25,000 submissions were received by the board  during the six-week public submission period.

Sixteen local governments councils have formed seven Local Implementation Committees as part of the initial planning for the beginning of the new local government authorities from July 1 next year. The committees are:
 
  • Swan/Mundaring
  • Bayswater/Bassendean
  • Armadale/Murray/Serpentine Jarrahdale
  • Kwinana/Melville/Fremantle
  • South Perth/Victoria Park
  • Canning/Gosnells
  • Kalamunda/Belmont
A series of breakfast forums will be held periodically in order for Local Implementation Committees to present information for the wider local government sector regarding various approaches to mergers, experiences gained and lessons learned.

To subscribe to the Metropolitan Local Government Reform bulletin to keep up to date with amalgamation news and milestones, click on the below link:
http://dlg.us7.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=6b3a3f7b848e66bfa0f6fc583&id=b6547dfad2



 

A captivated audience at the LGMA Central Queensland Branch Conference held in Monto, QLD.



 

LGMA National Congress & Business Expo Gala Dinner. L-R: Mrs Nicola Pitt, Mark Pitt CEO North Burnett Regional Council, Mark Crawley CEO Charters Towers Regional Council, John Perry, Mrs Jacqui Mead.

A quick trip over the South Australian border whilst conducting a Community Engagement workshop in Birdsville.

Hot air balloonists over looking the Melbourne skyline at the 2014 LGMA National Congress & Business Expo.

Conferences


Sponsoring and Attending

LGMA Central Queensland Branch Compass Series, Monto (13-14 March 2014)
John and Cait attended the CQ Branch Compass Series


The 2014 Central Queensland Branch Compass Series was unfortunately the last branch series for Central Queensland to be conducted, the sad news failed to dampen the spirits of conference organisers, attendees, delegates and sponsors. The theme of this year's conference was 'The Collaborative Council'.  

Speakers on the day were as follows:
Stuart Randle, CEO - Gladstone Regional Council
Mark Pitt, CEO - North Burnett Regional Council
David Edgerton, Chair - Australian Asset Management Collaborative Group
Brett Walsh, CEO - Barcaldine Regional Council
Mark Watt, CEO - Longreach Regional Council
Scott Mason, CEO - Central Highlands Regional Council
Tim Fynes-Clinton - King & Company Solicitors
Dr Irena Yashin-Shaw

Mead Perry Group would like to thank LGMA for facilitating this event throughout the years.

LGMA National Congress & Business Expo, Melbourne (30 April - 2 May 2014)
Scott and John attended the National Congress & were the QLD Member Representatives for the AGM 


The focus of the 2014 National Congress & Business Expo was Productive Communities. 
Keynote Addresses for the conference were: 
Nicholas Gruen - D
istinguished career in public policy and ideas and prominent economist;
Mark Hynes - Director of Corporate Affairs, London Borough of Lambeth Council UK;
Simon Farbrother - City Manager & ICMA President
Professor Roy Green
Jane-Frances Kelly

Andrew Demetriou - CEO Australian Football League
Professor Gary Banks, AO

78th Annual Western Queensland LGA Conference (WQLGA), Tambo (1-2 May 2014).
Mead Perry Group was a sponsor only for this event.


LGMA North Queensland Branch Compass Series, Bamaga (26 - 27 May 2014)
LGMA North West Conference, Broome (29 - 30 May 2014)

 

Further Conferences scheduled for your information

Queensland
Local Government Association
Local Government Managers Australia
South Australia
Local Government Association
Local Government Managers Australia

New South Wales
Local Government Association
Local Government Managers Australia
Victoria
Local Government Association
Local Government Managers Australia
Tasmania
Local Government Association
Local Government Managers Australia
Western Australia
Local Government Association
Local Government Managers Australia
Northern Territory
Local Government Association


 

Our Specialist Services

Mead Perry Group have officially joined Facebook! Click the link below or find us at www.facebook.com/meadperrygroup.

Don't forget to 'Like' our page while your there.

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Our mailing address is:
PO Box 142, Highfields   Qld   4352

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