In this edition, I will update members on the CA Executive program for the remainder of this budget year, provide updated information regarding the rollout of the NBN, as well as meetings with Canada Bay Council. I will also provide details regarding the upcoming
Town Hall Meeting and the Annual General Meeting (AGM).
CA Executive Program
As part of the management of the Estate the CA Executive meets three times per month. One Sunday per month to discuss and formalise the agenda for the CA Executive Committee meeting; one Saturday per month to
review our planning for the next three months and one Tuesday per month to formally approve motions placed at the CA Executive meeting.
Our focus for the next four months leading to the AGM is as follows:
- Produce the budget for the 2019-2020 financial year (the Community Financial Year commences in September)
- Develop the program and materials for discussion at the Town Hall Meeting (scheduled for Wednesday, 7 August 2019)
- Develop the agenda and presentations for the AGM (scheduled for Monday, 25
- Meet with Canada Bay Council Senior Management, NSW Government representatives and other key stakeholders to improve our ability to effectively govern the Community
- Continue to manage the numerous day to day functions of the Community.
The Budget Process
Preparing and approving the Community budget each year is one of the most important functions of the CA Executive Committee. The Community budget has three parts:
- The Administrative Fund – which is defined as monies spent primarily on annual maintenance of the Estate such as pool chemicals, pool servicing, landscape contracting, electricity services, water consumption etc.
- The Sinking Fund – which covers all longer term planned expenses such as painting buildings, carpeting the Country Club, maintaining the sea wall.
- Revenue generated by and from the Community in the form of levies and sales from assets such as the Country Club, Community Hall, Admin Building.
Developing the budget is a ‘bottom up’ process starting with the Administration Fund; the history and trends of our previous several years’ of expenses and reviewing all expenses to determine if we can get better pricing and/or work in a more effective way to reduce costs. Examples of where we have reduced costs to date:
- saving on water bills by changing sprinkler times and turning off sprinklers in weeks where there has been soaking rains
- inspecting and replacing old irrigation pipes where leakage is occurring
- reviewing and obtaining competitive quotes for expensive services such as electricity and certain high cost maintenance items.
We have the same approach to the Sinking Fund except that we now must look forward at least three years. Working with the Sinking Fund analysis provided every five years by an independent expert, we make decisions based on our experience to determine the priority of activities to be performed in a given year. For instance, the Executive may decide to delay the painting of a building if our Senior Strata Manager advises that this can be delayed or bringing forward an item if it is seen as essential for safety or accelerated wear or damage. It is very important that we continue to build the Sinking Fund to avoid unplanned large expenditure that may result in a large Special Levy in a particular year which can cause stress to Members. To avoid this, we must keep building the Sinking Fund each year to get to and maintain an agreed level of funding to cover both planned and unplanned events.
The final part of the budget is of course the revenue line. Most of the revenue for our budget comes from individual Member levies and the Executive Committee are acutely aware of the burden that these can place on individual owners. We will always weigh up the need for increases in levies with the ability of all of us to pay them. Nevertheless as we have stated numerous times, there is a direct relationship to the Community assets (landscape, Club, CA buildings) and the values of our own property. If we are to maintain the Estate and hopefully improve our asset base to continue to maximise the asset value of our own property, then we must pay for this. We do have an opportunity to increase revenue from other sources, the most obvious of these is the Country Club and Community Hall. With the extensions of the Country Club almost completed we are confident that we will be able to improve the revenue from the Club and Community Hall and this will to some extent reduce the bottom line expenses of the Community.
The Town Hall Meeting
The next Town Hall Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, 7 August 2019. The topics for discussion identified to date include:
- An update on the progress of the Country Club Extensions including progress to plan, expenditure to date and an estimate of the Club opening date and final expenditure.
- A discussion on key expenditure items of the Community and how these are planned to be handled.
- A briefing on the expenditure to date this year and where the money has been spent
- A briefing on the rollout of the NBN for the Community and what we need know.
- An update of our meetings with Canada Bay Council and progress made to get value for our rates.
- A briefing and discussion regarding costs of maintaining the fencing around trees and possible alternatives.
- The cost of maintenance of the fountains located at Silkstone Park and Market Street and whether the Community will look at alternative features.
The NBN Rollout
We have been notified by NBN via their contractor Vision Stream that the NBN roll-out will be phased into Breakfast Point starting immediately. Some Strata have received notification to arrange for access to their buildings. Our Senior Facilities Manager is in contact with Vision Stream to ensure that proper timely notice is provided to the CA when works are to be carried out. At the present time the existing Telstra cable pits are being widened to take the NBN cables and the connections will be made to the basement of buildings where available. As the NBN uses Voice over Internet Protocol (“VOIP”) for all voice connections, we need to be sure that emergency equipment in lifts and other emergency services have the necessary connections and are available for use when the NBN or power is down. We have assurances that this will be the case and this will be explained in more detail at the Town Hall Meeting.