Hello everyone. Good News!
The Freds Pass Show is happening this year!
After a lot of negotiation and commitment from volunteers, the Freds Pass Show Committee was established and they have been very busy pulling everybody together to make the show happen. Litchfield Council have contributed $70,000 towards the show I hope that everybody supports the show and really enjoys it. It is our chance to entertain and show people the great area that is Freds Pass Reserve.
Australian Polocrosse Nationals 7 to 13 July 2014
I know it's still a few months away but pencil it in your diary! It will be a HUGE event held at Freds Pass Reserve and from what I am told there is going to be over 1,000 horses at this event from all over Australia. Aside from the fabulous competition that will be on show, I am going for the chance to see that many horses in one place! It is a great event to showcase NT Polocrosse and an opportunity to show once again that Freds Pass is of a National Venue standard.
Enormous thanks must go to the entire Polocrosse community, made up of many volunteers, who have given many hours of their time, labour and skills to make this event happen.
Thank you, on behalf of all of us.
On the weekend of 22nd & 23rd of February, I attended a two day conference with the Western Australia Local Government Association. It was a Beyond Borders Conference and there were 40 participants from local Councils of Western Australia and the Territory. A lot of the discussions were about what the councils are doing in their areas and sharing information. They all say the same thing, no money and lots of works that should be done. There was discussion about the possibility of a Northern Territory food bowl, and the expansion of the Ord River Scheme (Western Australia) into the Northern Territory. This discussion will feed into the White Paper that the Federal Government is putting together regarding the potential food bowl capacity above the Capricorn line, which stretches from Broome right across to Townsville and includes Alice Springs. If you would like to have some input into that White Paper or are interested in reading more, go online to www.aph.gov.au >> there has already been 100 submissions on what should happen (quite a long read) but it's a good read as well.
Works in the Council area
Council has been trying really hard to keep up to all the potholes as they form, if you see one please report it.
With the great wet weather recently, the main works that have been carried out are slashing, potholes and spraying of weeds. That's generally what happens at this time of the year. We will soon be working on what goes into the budget for next year so ideas on what needs to be done out there in your area let me know. I can't give you any promises that it will happen but at least I will know about them. I am talking about major jobs not repairs and maintenance jobs.
I have gone to the government and asked for greater financial support. What I have learnt in the two years that I have been here is that the Litchfield Council area contributes approximately $125 million to the Northern Territory Economy and thus the Northern Territory Government. I do thank them for what they have given Litchfield Council area BUT it's not enough. Over the years the rate payers have been paying for all the repairs and maintenance on the roads and all the new roads. The repairs and maintenance bill is getting larger with increased frequency of truck movements of produce, sand and gravels etc, and the fast growing population of our area. I think that the NT Government should contribute more than $600,000 a year back into our economy. I would like to see 5% of the GDP (Gross Domestic Product), which should be about $4 million a year over the next five years, just to catch up on all of the repairs and maintenance that has to be done. It's been a bit like driving your car and not servicing it, eventually you have to put money back into it. That is what I would like to see them do, put money back into one of the vehicles that is actually driving and funding the Northern Territory, the Litchfield Council area.
I attended both the Bees Creek School PC, AGM and meeting, and Taminmin College AGM and meeting. Both schools are doing a really good job at teaching our kids. They are however having trouble with teacher staffing and how the Government is allocating staffing to student numbers. On behalf of the community and myself I would like to thank the volunteers that make up the board of the PC committee, they do a great job year in year out.
Deputy Mayor, Councillor Vic Statham and I attended the Bombing of Darwin Service which was well attended by the general public and provided a reminder to us of the realities that have happened in our not so distant past.
On Sunday, 15 February I attended the Defence Family and Community Expo at the Darwin Turf Club where they had a lot of stallholders showing everyone the services that are available within the community. If they hold one next year I think it should be advertised a lot more within the Litchfield Council area.
On Saturday, 1 March I attended the Welcome Home Parade for the Darwin-based members of the Australian Defence Forces deployed to Afghanistan during 2013, hosted by the 1st Brigade in Darwin City. This event was very well attended by the community as well. Then we all moved to Parliament House where there were speeches from the Prime Minister of Australia, Tony Abbott, and Chief Minister, Adam Giles thanking the soldiers for their service to our country. I would like to add, well done to our defence personnel as well.
After that function I had a meeting with Minister David Tollner and Minister Peter Styles for an hour and a half. The discussion was about seeking more money to the Litchfield Council area for repairs, maintenance and upgrades for the roads. The submission that I gave them is below.
On the 4 March I attended the AACO Community Representatives Meeting at the Abattoir site. The meeting was a catch up and to find out if there been any complaints about the abattoir, what's going on and if it is affecting the local community.
After that meeting I attended Gerry Wood's meeting at Whitewood Hall which was all about the Greater Darwin Land Use Plan 2014, and what has been suggested for our area. Gerry explained in his words the way he sees it, Gerry did a great job explaining it to everyone. Now it is up to the people to put in submissions if they don't like something and hopefully there will be a lot of comments so the NT Planning Commission can put forward the right plan that is needed, so Litchfield can go forward in a way where everybody is happy.
The submission to the Minister
Till next time
Mayor Litchfield council