Staff vacancies combined with the impact of COVID-19 has delivered Warrnambool council a better-than-expected end to the year for the city's finances.
The council finished the year $565,000 better off despite a COVID-19 outbreak again hitting the council-run holiday parks and cancelling events at the Lighthouse Theatre.
While about 10 per cent of holiday makers either cancelled their holidays or left early, the loss of income was offset by savings on casual labour from other council services such as Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum and the Lighthouse Theatre.
Revenue was down $360,000 on expected to the end of December, but expenses were down by even more.
Cr Debbie Arnott said there was no doubt that COVID-19 had an effect on the city's tourism industry.
"We were hoping for a really good year but Omicron actually landing in the city has effected that," she said.
Cr Ben Blain said the finances - outlined in the December financial report presented to council last week - were better mainly due to labour savings.
"These are services that have had restrictions on them due to COVID," he said.
"We're opening up which means that these services should be able to be closer to full capacity.
"I think it's important, especially with this report, for the council not to be relying on the lower staffing costs but to be fully resourcing these services as we move out of restrictions."
Cr Blain said that it was important in the coming months that the Lighthouse Theatre was fully staffed so it could run at maximum capacity.
Cr Angie Paspaliaris also said new deals had been struck or were in the pipeline that would deliver savings of $58,000 to the council over payment of bills through Australia Post or the Commonwealth Bank.
"Whilst it is not groundbreaking, I do think every little bit helps," she said.
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