For us to run a successful council with your chosen service, the Municipal Plan outlines financially how council can manage the Municipality.

The Municipal Plan is available on our website for feedback and comment until June 24th. If approved after the public comments this will be Litchfield Council's Municipal Plan for 2013/2014.

Yes rates are going up by 6%. 2% is the general rate increase, 4% is for waste. For those who have been recycling thank you very much, as it has reduced the weight over the Weighbridge considerably at Shoal Bay. This is where all our waste ends up, going over the Weighbridge at the Darwin dump at $75.50 per tonne. The total Council expects to take in next year is 11,000 tonnes of waste from the Litchfield area, you can do the sums on that 11,000 tons by $75.50 per tonne equals $830,500.00. Now that's just to pay for it going over the Weighbridge, additionally have handling costs for trucking it to Darwin, manning our transfer stations and all the other associated costs that go with handling waste which totals $2,733,178.00. So if you break it down to the 7446 rateable properties in the Municipality which can be charged for waste disposal it should cost each ratepayer $367 per year for Council to manage. This year, your waste charge has gone from $237 to $290 for the year. Can we reduce the costs, yes maybe, if you want to shorten the hours of the transfer stations opening times? Yes if you could recycle more. I have looked closely at the Business Plan and that is the only way we could reduce the costs.

So this year your rates will be $976.00, that equals $2.67 a day that is all you have to pay to live in our fantastic community with its seven recreational reserves, 571 km of bitumen road and 150 km of gravel road. This also helps in maintaining firebreaks and all the other services that need to be provided.

This year we have introduced a system to make it easier for some people, rates can be paid all at once or in two payments throughout the year, I hope this helps, please remember we are here to run your business, we are not the enemy as some times the newspaper makes us out to be. It costs money to run any business and your Council is doing the best it possibly can with what it has.

Industrial land

I chaired a meeting with 35 local business people and the Minister for Lands and Planning Mr Peter Chandler, at Taminmin College last Wednesday evening. It was a really good meeting with everybody voicing their concerns and ideas direct to the Minister. At the end Minister Chandler promised to let more industrial land be released around Humpty Doo area, if this happens we can get businesses that are in the rural and rural residential area back onto industrial land. The plans that the Minister showed had about 30 odd blocks. It will be a big win for our rural community; this is just one of the things I have been working hard to get started.

If you are in the South Ward we are looking for people to organise sporting events for our kids in that area. If you would like to run a softball team, a football team, cricket team, give me a call so I can get our kids out there exercising and into the sunshine,

Until next time may the sun shine and the mornings get colder