I have to tell you about the Southern District Crocs. For those of you who don't know who they are or where they are located. They are at Freds Pass Reserve and they are a football team for our local Litchfield area.

Here is a little bit of history that I know and would like to share with you. The club started in 1986 and for the last 10 years Ray McCasker and his fantastic team of board members have been looking after the club and players. So if you think about it, over 10 years many young players have gone through the club and have grown up in our area to become good citizens and they could be sending their kids to the same club.

What has happened now is that Ray McCasker and his board decided they had had enough and needed new blood to run the club, that board has left the club in good stead with money in the bank and teams on the field, I personally would like to thank Ray McCasker and his team for what they have done over this time of giving our kids the opportunities of playing sports instead of roaming the streets. Thanks for what you have done and thanks very much to the committee members that helped along the way and what has been achieved. You have done a great job, from all the community thanks very much.

That said I would like to welcome the new board of management Jim Dalton and his team. I wish them a lot of luck, and I know they will do a great job as I know they will enjoy it as well, giving back to the community is one of life's great pleasures and experiences. They have 11 teams, under, 12, 14, 16, 18, as well as a great women's team, yes I know one of them on it, a division 1 and 2 and a premier team as well, and a membership of 550 and supporters, the Southern District Crocs have been playing here and training, and bringing our younger players through the age groups to become great football players of the future.

I attended the seasons start night on Wednesday the 2/10/2013. A very enthusiastic group of players were there along with their sponsors, and it's thanks to the sponsors that also make it happen for the club and the players. If you are looking for a dynamic sport for your kids to play in a team environment or would like to participate in any way I'm sure they will have you.

I have been busy trying to sort out problems that are over 12 years old in relation to people's rates, and drainage problems concerning Oscar and Hannah Roads. Going out and speaking to the individual property owners is really beneficial but very time-consuming. The good thing about going out and talking to our residents is finding out other things that are going on in our community.

I am concerned about the levels of the new culvert over Darwin River on Leonino Road not being high enough for most of the wet season. Deputy Mayor, Councillor Vic Statham and myself went out to have a look, and then CEO, Russell Anderson and myself. All we can do is hope it's at a good height in the end. It would have been good to have received Federal or State funding for a Bridge. We could have built a bridge instead of a culvert to achieve a better outcome, now the outcome will be what we can afford to put in not what is needed or should have been put in but nothing has come through from State or Federal governments, again they have forgotten about the rural area but never mind I will keep hounding them to help fund the other five bridges in the rural area.

I attended the Northern Territory News Pride of Australia Medal Presentation at Parliament House on Wednesday 25th September. It was a very good ceremony with some very happy recipients of awards.

On the 27th 28th and 29 of September that's Friday Saturday and Sunday I sat down at the Humpty Doo Transfer Station for eight hours a day to see how the trial Chipping would go and be able to talk to the people participating in the trial. It was on the weekend of the football grand final I am hoping that is why the numbers were down and that they were not avoiding the trial Chipping.

27 September
HappyUnhappyDidn't knowComments
1. TrailerX  Very happy to take it back
2. TruckX  Hopes it works
3. TrailerX  Very happy to wait, hope it works, likes the fact and know what they are getting
4. TrailerX  Want to see at work
5. Trailer   Inconvenient sometimes because he is going to town
6. Trailer   He was happy will use it again on Sunday
7. Ute   Very happy keep doing it
8. Ute   Return customer for the day
9. Trailer   Impressed he knows what he is getting back to judge
28 September
HappyUnhappyDidn't KnowComments
1. Trailer X Very unhappy does not want to do anything other than dump it off and go
2. UteXX 1st time user just didn't want it back had weeds in it and didn't want it
3. Trailer X He was number 1 man this was his second load
4. TrailerX  Return customer very happy
5. TrailerX XHe didn't know about it but was happy for it to keep going
6. TrailerX  Return customer very happy
7. TrailerXXXDid not want it, he liked the mulch, maybe next time, would rather the rates go up to cover problem
8. Trailer X Would rather the rates go up he just does not want it
9. UteXX She did not want it she just wanted the problem to go away to dump it and run
10. UteXX He did not want it just wanted to dump and run and forget about it
11. CarX  Thought it was a good idea and will be back
29 September
HappyUnhappyDidn't KnowComments
1. TrailerXX Okay but have to do something at home with it
2. Trailer X No didn't want back at all
3. TrailerX XHe was okay with it but didn't know about it
4. TrailerX XDid not know about it but okay with it
5. Trailer X Just wanted to get rid of it wasn't interested
6. TrailerX  Thought it was a good idea but lived in a unit no room to put it will trailer
7. TrailerX  Heard about it thinks it's a good idea should keep going with it
8. TrailerX  Was happy with the idea thought it was good idea

Some people didn't know about it, I don't think it matters how much you advertise not everybody is going to hear what you're doing, I think we did advertise enough to do what we wanted to do down there.

Some people just want to get rid of the green waste and not have to deal with it. I think they are so used to being able just to drop off and forget about it, others think and said it is a good idea and would do it again and would like it to continue, they could see the potential. The ones that were cranky about it, (one was going to skitch her dogs onto me) just did not want to handle it at home. I don't think there were enough people through on the 3 days that I was there, but they did point out a lot of things to me,

"They are so used to doing it this way.
They were not prepared and had other things to do.
I have borrowed the trailer and need to get it back to the owner
They lived in a unit and did not have any room to place the mulch.
It was weeds and they just didn't want back"

What should we do with it?

Processing it is slow, putting it back into the trailers is a problem, it will blow out on the way home, and they have to deal with it at home and some don't want to deal with it.
Bailing it I think would be the only way people may accept it then they could give it away to the neighbour or friends.
I think we should price a static mulch grinder and bailer, and other infrastructure that is needed so we can do the costing's to see if this is a good direction to go, it needs to be investigated more. A problem that we will be having in the future is the amount of green waste that will be coming in, and it will have to be dealt with at Humpty Doo Transfer Station, I don't think we have enough room to leave it in piles as we do now and wait for the mulcher to turn up, this is where I think it needs to be dealt with at the time of it coming into the yard. This could be where we chip it and bail it at the same time. Maybe we need to look into the contractor taking on looking after all the mulch, from the beginning to the end, I don't know how this will work but I need to talk to the contractor to see what he will offer, let him come up with an idea.

We have problems with people dumping green waste into the bush what is called illegal dumping, and the fine for doing this is very large, All we would be doing is turning our constituents into criminals if they didn't pay the fine, and I don't think that is what we are here to do, also these people do not want to take it home or have to handle it once it has been mulched. I think one solution would be if there is a problem with the illegal dumping because of the charges that we have put on the green waste is in the best interests of everyone and the safety as well, it could be that we build it into the rates, I'm not happy with that thought I still feel it should be user pay, but sometimes on things like these, the green waste to be a community effort to solve the problems when it comes to illegal dumping and fire hazards, and if Council is financially able to bring in the chipper and Bailer over time the public may accept it and do it that way, this will not be an easy fix but I think over the next two years we will come up with a solution.

I have had discussions with the Government Department about Wadham Lagoon, they have flown it and taken photographic levels, now they have to put the tender together and the criteria of what they want the tenderer to do, then put it out to tender, sad to say but I don't think we will get anything back this year, they may surprise me, we will see.

I also attended Litchfield Council's Risk Management and Audit Committee on our financials, I will let Councillor Matthew Salter give you an update on that one as he is the longest serving member on the committee, and this was my first committee meeting.

In November I will be attending the LGANT Conference in Alice Springs followed by the 2013 National Local Roads and Transport Congress.

Allan McKay
Litchfield Mayor