It's been a while since my last email; we now have over 2,000 subscribers and have been looking at better ways to communication via email making it smaller to send which is more accessible on smart devices. Let me know what you think of this new look newsletter and see how easy it is to share with your friends, link to Facebook and Twitter, or jump onto our website and check out other Council business.

Australia Day Celebrations

What a month! I have been busy with Australia Day preparations. We had a good turn out on the day and the weather held off. The people were great and I think all had a good time in celebrating the new citizens and Australia Day. Noddy's fun run and walk was again a big hit. All I could see was big smiles on everybody's faces even after they crossed the finish line. Thanks Noddy for all the time and effort you put into organising the event as it a great community effort from you and all of your volunteers.

Some say it was a good event and some say it needs to be improved. I would say there needs to be improvement like all events, to keep ahead and make it a good event as you always need to improve on the last one. On the day we had a lot of help from volunteers.It just wouldn't happen without them, the Rotary Club, Scouts Groups, there was a real community effort put in by all volunteers and I would like to thank each and every one of them very much for a great job.

If there is anybody out there that would like to help with next year's Australia Day please drop me a line or come in and see me, and by helping me make next year's Australia Day better you are helping your community. Yes there is a committee, it's not a very big one yet.

I attended Taminmin Library along with the seniors for a morning tea. It is always good to catch up with them and find out how things are going in their lives and areas. The discussion this time was all about dementia and how to deal with it. If you are retired and looking for something to do, give the Taminmin Library a call, you'll be amazed at what they do down there.

Sunday 2nd February was the Darwin River Volunteers Fire Brigade AGM where there was a big rollup of people in attendance, which was great to see. Conan Williams, the President from last year stood down for personal commitments and Bart Johnston was elected the new Fire Captain. I congratulate both captains for what they have done and going to do, and I also would like to thank the rest of the volunteers in that area for the great job that they have carried out over the years for the community. To the new people in the Litchfield area the volunteer fire brigades help to look after lives and property and they would like your help by you maintaining your fire break and clearing around your buildings. If you're not sure give your local brigade a ring and ask them what you should be doing, or even better still join our local Fire Brigade and learn what needs to be done and how to fight fires it's a very important aspect when you're living in the rural area,( help yourself by helping them.)

Land at Humpty Doo

The expression of interest for the Humpty Doo block went out a little bit too early the Council was just too efficient on this one, what we had planned was to let you know what was happening before the expression of interest went out, but it does not matter that much it has been good advertising and everybody knows about it now.

The vacant block is sitting in the heart of Humpty Doo it is owned by Council, which is you, and since I have been in this job I have asked the question to everyone, what are the plans for the block, what are you going to do with it, the answers that I got back was I don't know, nothing, nothing has ever been planned for it. Other than originally it was planned for the Council offices and grounds.

You've seen the pictures in the paper of Humpty Doo residents Jasmine Howell and Emma England, I agree with these two ladies we do need public facilities and that's what will be going on the block, but there is no way that Council, which is you, can fund or afford any of these types of facilities at the moment with the minimal rate base of 7,300 rateable land owners, there is not enough income coming in to maintain the types of facilities that has been talked about, swimming pool, Civic Centre, ice-skating ring, museum, library, meeting rooms, and I'm sure when we go out to ask what you would like there will be more of them.

As for Mr Gerry Wood comments, Council cannot live in his past, Council just like every other council in Australia has to move in the direction of getting funds from somewhere else other than the rate payers, the Northern Territory government has no money to give Council or as it seems anybody else for that matter, they say they are broke because of the labour government which Gerry was part of.

The land seems quite large but it is not, as soon as you start putting buildings on it you need car parking space and that takes up a lot of land, that is why in my opinion we need to go up, my meaning of going up is, I think it should be about eight stories high, what I am trying to do here is to get you thinking outside of the square, it may not end up being eight stories high but when you're thinking about it don't be restricted by height, I think we need a quest building motel in our area now, we all get visitors and if you cannot fit them into your home you have to send them to town, and it is the gateway to Kakadu as well, you already have an eight story high building in the area that is the water tower and it doesn't look out of place.

Another reason for going up, Council will be able to generate more income from either rent or rates, with this income that will pay for the facilities that the community would like and need.

Please remember what has gone out is an expression of interest to see if there is any company out there that would like to go into business with Council and to see if the time is right the idea maybe five years too early we don't know that until you put an expression of interest out there, Council cannot afford to go it alone that is why we need to know if there are any companies to partnership with us.

This is the first step of many, in a process that may take years before the first sod is turned, find out if there is a need for something down there, in doing that you have to involved you the community, there has been no little meetings to say we are going to do this or that, we have had discussions on how to go about putting it out for expressions of interest, Council has no proposals of what should be down there, all that will come out when we asked you the community.

320 Arnhem highway is 7.56 ha or 18.68 acres it is zoned multiuse under the NT planning scheme 1.1 ha or 2.71 acres is zoned conservation land located along the Arnhem highway side.

The zone community purpose is for; 

  • The primary purpose of community purpose land is to provide for community services and facilities, with a publicly or privately owned or operated, including facilities for civic and government administration;
  • Design is expected to incorporate landscaping that will enhance the visual appearance of the development the development of residential accommodation is to only be the satiation with axillary to the primary use of the land.

The zone conservation or CN,

  • The primary purpose of the sign conservation land is to conserve and protect the flora fauna character of natural areas.
  • Development is to be sensitive to the natural features and habitats of the zone and be so sighted and operated as to have minimal impact on the environment.

Until next time, bring on the rest of the wet season it's great.

Allan McKay
Litchfield Mayor