In the first annual report since councillors took over from administrators, Brimbank council has been described as putting in a “huge effort”.

The 2016-17 report, which covers the final months of the previous administrators and the first eight months of the new council, outlines council achievements in the past financial year, and shows Brimbank is in a strong financial position.

The council reported a budget surplus of $44.44 million, which is well above the projected surplus of $14.5 million.

This was due to an increase in grants and capital contributions. When non-recurring capital grants and capital contributions were removed there was a surplus of $26.52 million reported. Interim chief executive Helen Morrissey said at last week’s council meeting that it had been an overwhelmingly positive year for

“To have a new council, the first year of rate-capping and all the challenges that brings, and still deliver so much for the community is a huge effort,” Ms Morrissey said.

She commended the council, which has overseen the relocation of services to the new Brimbank Community and Civic Centre. It also oversaw the opening of the new Bowery Theatre and the refurbishing of the Keilor Community Hub.

“Our council has hit the ground running, and from day one has demonstrated a strong focus to making sure all council decisions are made with a lens of improving the health, wellbeing, safety and opportunity for our community,” she said in the report.

Councillor Virginia Tachos echoed those sentiments at last week’s meeting.

“All of us on council have been present in the community every day, making sure that our people are treated fairly,” Cr Tachos said.

“We continue to play a key role to fight for a better Brimbank.”