Litchfield Council Acting Chief Executive Officer Ben Dornier extends thanks the Minister for Local Government and Community Services, the Hon. Bess Price, for advising Council today of financial support being extended to Litchfield Council as it prepares for a general election on 28 November 2015.

“Local government elections offer the important opportunity to residents and ratepayers to express themselves at the voting booths regarding who they seek to represent their community on Council. They are an expensive yet vital part of the Australian system of government,” stated Mr Dornier. “It is gratifying to receive such a significant amount of financial support from the NT Government to help us get to the polls in Litchfield.”

The Department of Local Government and Community Services announced today that it would provide $30,000 to Litchfield Council to assist in meeting the cost of the general election on 28 November 2015. Currently, the estimated costs for the election are $100,000. “We have been working with the Electoral Commissioner to ensure these costs are kept at a manageable level, but it is also necessary that as much effort as possible goes into ensuring as many voters participate in this election as possible,” Mr Dornier said. “These funds from the NT Government show their commitment to helping us make this happen.” Litchfield Council currently holds $100,000 in its elections reserve, but is faced with the prospects of two general elections – one in 2015, and another in 2017 – which will cause a burden on ratepayers. The funding provided by NT Government greatly assists in Council’s ability to bear these costs without unduly impacting ratepayers.

The last general election was held in 2012, and came at a cost of $75,000. Of this, $50,000 was borne by Council and the remainder by NT Government.

Official Manager Frank Crawley sought to encourage residents to both register to vote, and to ensure they found the time to vote when polls open. “Residents can register online to ensure they are able to vote on 28 November, but it is still important to do all we can to get people to the polls. Early voting will begin 9 November, with voting sites spread across the Litchfield. We encourage everyone to view their vote as important in ensuring the best possible future for Litchfield.”

In addition to funding support for the 28 November elections, the Department of Local Government will be providing a further $20,000 for governance training aimed at ensuring newly elected councillors are able to operate as effectively as possible in areas such as finance, risk management and decision making.