The City of Melbourne has received a AAA/A-1+ credit rating, with Standard & Poor’s attributing the achievement to Council’s ‘strong balance sheet’ and ‘solid economy.’


Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said the AAA/A-1+ rating is the highest assigned by Standard & Poor’s and the City of Melbourne is the only Australian council to be given the top rating.


He added that sound economic management would enable Council to not only plan for the city’s future growth but more importantly deliver quality community infrastructure and services over the coming year as outlined in its proposed budget.


“This independent measure reaffirms Council’s strong financial position. It demonstrates that sound economic management is paying dividends and is not only giving us the capacity to deliver quality community infrastructure and services but at the same time keep the impact on our rate payers low,” the Lord Mayor said.


“Further evidence of Council’s sound economic position was highlighted... when we released the City of Melbourne’s draft 2011-12 Budget. Last year we kept the rate rise at a low 1.9 per cent. This year we have gone a step better with a 1.65 per cent increase – the lowest of any Victorian local government and Australian capital city.”


Standard & Poor’s credit analyst Kyran Curry said the rating affirmed that the City of Melbourne was in a very strong financial position which provided it with substantial flexibility to withstand adverse financial and economic shocks.


“The stable outlook reflects Standard & Poor’s expectation that Melbourne will continue to fund its capital expenditure internally, preserve its strong balance sheet and liquidity position, and maintain its operation balances in line with recent performance,” Mr Curry said.


City of Melbourne’s Future Melbourne (Finance and Governance) Committee Chair, Councillor Brian Shanahan said this was the tenth year in a row that Council has achieved the AAA/A-1+ status, and he was very pleased with the continuing excellent rating.


“The rating acknowledges the Council’s excellent financial management and puts us in a very strong financial position to respond to the exciting challenges and opportunities of Melbourne’s continuing growth and development.”