The 2014/2015 Municipal Plan was adopted at the July Council Meeting. All submissions were appreciated and were considered by elected members prior to the final adoption of the budget. The average increase for a residential property equates to 91cents a week, with Litchfield residential land owners paying $1023.26 and Litchfield Urban land owners paying $1462.10. The sum is made up of the land levy, waste charge and waste transfer station levy. View Municipal Plan »
Theft and Damage
We have a high number of road signs that are being damaged, 151 so far this year, already more than the previous year. These signs cost money to replace, money which could be used for other services. Please report any suspicious activity to the police. A 2 seater Mechron Kioti red and black ATV was stolen from Litchfield Council offices located on Bees Creek Road between 10.00pm and 10.30pm on Wednesday 25th June. Litchfield Council has security cameras in operation inside and outside of the buildings. The thieves are seen removing the spraying equipment which was on the back of the ATV and later removing the Litchfield logo stickers. The ATV was then loaded onto the back of a vehicle near the offices on the Stuart Highway. Please report any activity you may have seen regarding this theft to the police.
Work and Infrastructure
The construction of the Darwin River Culvert Crossing is proceeding well. The culverts are installed, the concrete deck is finished and the road is currently being constructed. The concrete approach slabs and concrete batter protection are also completed and in the next few weeks the guard rail and road sealing will be done. Council appreciates resident's patience with utilising the detour whilst these works are undertaken. The concrete path construction on Challoner Circuit commenced at the start of the current school holidays to minimise disruption. The work is approximately 90% complete. The path will use 360m3 of concrete and thereby is quite a sizeable project.
Howard Park Recreation Reserve
The new playground is finished at Howard Park Recreation Reserve along with the new softball fence.
Our next Micro-chipping day is Wednesday 30th July. There are plenty of spaces available: a one off payment of $30.00 can help us identify your pet, call Council on 8983 0600 to make a booking.
14th of June 2014
Myself and the CEO attended the Australian Local Government Conference in Canberra attended by roughly 800 representatives from all over Australia. Apart from being cold it was a good Conference. Some 82 motions had to go to the vote, with a lot of the motions about not enough money for councils. The reason behind not enough money for councils is the Federal Government not increasing the (FAGS) Federal Assistant Grants by the CPI for the next two years, and a lot of councils did not think this was a fair as they rely on this money to get things done in their community’s as do we.
We also had a great line up of speakers talking to us about different subjects. Some being the Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove, the Hon. Bill Shorten MP, the Hon. Warren Truss MP, the Hon. Julie Collins MP, Senator the Hon. Michaelie Cash, Senator Christine Milne, the Honorable Doctor Brendan Nelson, Professor Mark Evans, Professor Andrew Lynch, Jeremy Lasek, Terry Morgan AC, Helen Silver, Max Walker AM. The speakers gave a lot of information which was very informative.
Council Meeting Procedures
I then flew to Perth to attend a course on meeting procedures and debating that the Councillors wanted me to attend, as you thought I needed to run meetings better. I can tell you now, with what I learnt that I am running the meetings the right way. I have been running the meetings the way Litchfield Council has been running meetings for years, it has been informally formal. The only thing that we can add to the meetings is Standing Orders. To do that we have to go through the process of working out what standing orders we require and then put it up to Parliament for them to approve. This is a decision that all of the Councillors have to make, so I ask you all to get informed and to understand what Standing Orders are all about.
From the 26th to the 29thof June 2014
I flew over to Townsville to attend the ADC forum on the Northern Development Summit creating a future Australia.
This was funded out of my own money not from Council as the Councillors thought it would not be worthwhile attending.
It was very much the opposite it was well worth attending, there was a lot expressed that should happen in the North, a very good learning exercise. I was actually on the stage as a presenter for three quarters of an hour with two other mayors and a consultant, I told them how Litchfield is going and what is needed here and what is missing and how much it costs to live here.
The three major points that were talked about for us was:
- What are the primary pressures on community development work by local governments in northern Australia?
- Will it be possible to achieve economic and population growth across the north without addressing these pressures?
- What are some effective solutions to these pressures and what steps do we need to explore to implement them?
What I said, as did many others was a lack of money coming through from the Federal Government to local council, as we in Litchfield have not got the rate base to afford the luxuries that other communities have as we are spread out with three smaller villages and no major village to put some of these infrastructures into. I also noted that for our area we contribute into the Australian economy from the Litchfield Council area, but with very little return on our investment into the Australian economy, from the Northern Territory Government and the Federal Government.
25th of June 2014
I attended the community consultation committee of the new prison of which I am a member. The opening should be at the end of August. They have had a bit of a hiccup, with some things. The meeting was a general meeting with discussions on how the prison is coming along.
1st July 2014
I attended the flag raising ceremony at Parliament House and also they had citizenship ceremony of 50 people or more at the same time. It was a good event. I also had the opportunity to talk to Minister Peter Styles and asked him if there was any money in the repairs and maintenance budget of the Northern Territory Government for Litchfield Council, he advised me to ask the departments.
4th of July 2014
I attended Robinson Barracks for the Marines Fourth of July function, the Mayor of Darwin and Palmerston also attended this function, which was a really good public relations exercise with the Marines as they are living in our area. It was a very formal event and a good evening which I enjoyed.
Sunday 6th of July 2014
I attended the presentation night of the Northern Territory Polocrosse Association along with Councillor Coles and Councillor Salter, it was also their 40th Anniversary for Polocrosse at Freds Pass. It was a very good evening with reminiscing of days gone by. They talked about their escapades and how Polocrosse was developed here at Freds Pass. This was the start to the week-long Polocrosse National Titles that the committee has put together.
7th of July 2014
I attended the opening of the Australian Polocrosse Championships alongside Minister David Tollner, Minister John Elferink, Kezia Purick, Gerry Wood, all the fantastic players from around Australia and the Northern Territory, it was a fantastic opening. The amount of horses that were there and the quality will make for a great week of competition of Polo Crosse.
Australian of the Year Awards
I then attended the official start of the Australian of the Year Awards at Parliament House, what we need here is if anybody knows anyone that they think deserves to be Australian of the year to get on their website and nominate the person they feel deserves to be recognised.
While I have been out and about at many different functions I get to meet and talk with the politicians that make decisions and get things done, one of these politicians is Natasha Griggs she is the chairman of the blackspot funding program for the Federal government, not only does she work hard in her electorate and for her electorate, she also works hard for the Northern Territory as a whole, like any good politician should, I thank the board and Natasha Griggs for recognizing that Litchfield Council needs the funding to help our rural community fix problem blackspots, that our community just cannot afford, we received a notification that the blackspot funding for the intersection of Girraween and agelessly road, hopefully we may be able to start that job this dry season.
Till next time