Hello everyone,

Council Policies

We have for the last few months had a new policy up on our website, the name of the policy is land acquisition, disposal and lease policy, Council has previously undertaken to dispose of land for which it has legal title to. This action brought about community concerns regarding the reasoning and processes the Council had undertaken.

Minister's guidelines in relation to the disposal of property states!

"Sale and disposable of land and other assets should be consistent with Council's economics social or environmental objectives.

When considering options for sale and disposable of land and other assets Council should look for opportunities to advance the objectives of the Council strategic plan".

Commercial confidentiality should apply to negotiations for sale and disposal of land and other asset transactions less Council decides otherwise.

In circumstances where there is a sale or disposal of land by tender process as may be considered and determined by Council on individual case merits, the reason for entering into such contracts should be documented.

To alleviate any future repercussions a draft policy has been developed for consideration by Council which will provide the process required should Council consider an acquisition, disposal or lease of any land asset. As there is no immediate requirement to have this policy endorsed and allow the community input, the recommendation is the policy lay on the table for members and community members to provide comment.

As Litchfield Council does not have a policy on land acquisition, disposal and lease policy, there is a need to go forward with such things as these policies for the future of Litchfield Council, we obtained the content of the draft policy from the Darwin City Council policy with the same title, the reason we got it is that we use other council policies just like many other councils around Australia use ours, this save you a lot of money in having to get lawyers to draw one up, so please go to your website www.litchfield.nt.gov.au and read up on it and let us know if you think there should be changes.

Rural Dog Management By-laws

With the number of dog concerns growing, it was passed at the February Council meeting to review Litchfield Council Rural Dog Management By-laws, which were established in March 2011. Councillor Mike Bowman and Councillor Terry Richards along with two Regulatory Staff formed a sub committee to review our current by-law. This week they held their first meeting. Our electronic mailing list and website will keep you posted of this review and your suggestions are welcomed.

I would have to say since being elected one of the biggest problems that we are having is with dogs: barking, killing animals and to many dogs on properties. Council was told to bring in dog laws by the NT Government back in 2009 and Council put in place the dog by-laws which now are not strong enough to protect the community. Council is now going through a rethink or review of the by-laws and we will be consulting with you on any changes, as Litchfield is so diverse and we now have an urban and rural mixed society, we require to address the by-laws to work with our growing needs. One of the scenarios is that we implement the same by-laws that Darwin has so as we grow, we are not changing the rules all the time, but with those by-laws there will be a management plan; the management plan will help us with the rules.

Freds Pass 

We have a new president on the Freds Pass Reserve Management Board; I would like to welcome Jane Cross as a new president. The Management Board are:

Jane Cross – Chairman and Public Officer
Anthony Venes – Vice Chairman
Cecilia Coleman – Treasurer
Amanda Ruzsicska – Secretary
John Ascoli – Board Member
Judy Cole – Board Member
Mathew Salter – Board Member

Congratulations and please keep up the great work that you have been doing for the last 12 months, it will be hard work for the Freds Pass Management Board as they lost a lot of funding from the NT Government but I am sure that they will keep up the high standard of services for the user groups.

Rubbish Waste and Recycling

Again, thank you to those who responded to my last email, your ideas were great, one I particularly liked regarding too much mulch at Humpty Doo Waste Transfer Station was to offer residents of Litchfield Municipality a free trailer load at the beginning of the dry season. I will be passing this through our other councillors. We need to think more about recycling our waste, the more you take to the transfer stations the more it costs you at the Darwin Shoal Bay Waste Management Facilities. Our three transfer Station offer recycling, the rubbish that you put pit is compacted then transferred to Shoal Bay, we pay weight on that rubbish to be sent to land fill. That charge is your charge, last year it cost you $2 million to take your rubbish to Darwin Shoal Bay Waste Management Facilities. So the more you recycle, the less is sent to land fill and the less costs to you. I guess what I'm trying to say is if you can take out anything that could be recycled in your own house or yard, that could be all your wet waste scraps put back in your garden, even separating your tins and bottles, yes I know it's not easy.

Mobile Workforce

I have been told it takes about two months to get around the whole of Litchfield Council area, your slashing team started just after Christmas and with all the holidays I would say they are nearly on track for completing the first round soon, then they will start all over again, they will be used to the machinery now and where they have to go on the second round so it should be quicker.

Allan McKay
Litchfield Mayor
0409 940 108