Happy New Year all and welcome to 2020.

January is great time to reflect on the past year and view forward into the coming year, so my message this month contains an overview of some of the achievements and upcoming events and plans.

Firstly, a look back. I am proud to see what we have achieved and delivered for the Litchfield community in 2019.

A lot of fantastic achievements including:

  • Securing $20 million for the productive mango roads project. A lot is happening in the background and in the coming months there will be some solid announcements and action in this space
  • Sponsoring a fantastic 40th anniversary Fred’s Pass Show
  • Coordinating and hosting the inaugural Litchfield Art Exhibition
  • Upgrades and new shade at the Howard Park Reserve
  • Opening the new Jewish section at Thorak Regional Cemetery
  • The Mobile Work Force have moved into their new shed at the Humpty Doo Waste Transfer Station. The team has slashed and mowed over 800ks of road verges and repaired or installed 496 road signs
  • Reducing landfill one TV at a time: Council has sent 33 tonnes of old TVs and computers to be recycled since the TechCollect program commenced at the Humpty Doo Waste Transfer Station

Supporting amazing community groups and events through the cash for container community grants. Our Annual Community Grants awarded close to $30,000 back into our community. These awards are completely funded through money made from recycling goods from the Waste Transfer Stations: our 'trash to cash’ program. But we could do more in this area if more residents used our recycling bins at the Waste Transfer stations and separated their cans, glass, batteries etc. and placed them in the appropriate bins. Cans and glass included in the unsorted general waste costs you the rate payer more. It’s easy - just take the time to separate recyclable materials, cardboard etc. In doing so each resident contributes to the community awards and puts back into the community and environment.

Our environment is important to Council. We continue to look at how we can better adapt to the changing climate, reduce water and power usage, look after our environment and improve our recycling services. This of course is ongoing work. We have installed solar panels on the office, generating approximately 14,000kwh with a savings of just over $1,000 a month and commenced a replacement program for current street lighting with more cost-efficient LED’s. Weed management will continue to be a focus for the Mobile Work Force. This work is done in conjunction with Bush Fires NT and NT Government’s Weeds Branch.

Looking forward into 2020, Council will be continuing to work closely with the community, our neighbouring Councils, and both NT and Federal governments to forward the six roles that guide all that Council does: advocacy, engage community, fund, regulate, deliver a first-class service and partner.

Over the next 6 months Council will:

  • Finalise the second round of the rating policy process. The draft policy, which demonstrates that Council have listened and responded to the community feedback, is currently out for public consultation until 20 January.
  • Finalise the review of Private Roads Policy following the community consultation with all stakeholders throughout September and November 2019. This policy is included in the January Council agenda for adoption.
  • The second Litchfield Art Exhibition to be held on the 7 & 8 March 2020 will again showcase the fabulous talent of local artists across a range of mediums. Litchfield Women in Business Network will host the Exhibition launch on Friday 6 March at Whitewood Hall, Howard Springs.
  • Finalise the Shared pathway plan for the Municipality to ensure cycling connections are well planned and support an active community lifestyle.
  • Continue with the planned road maintenance and drainage programs and respond to urgent works as appropriate.
  • Complete the Whitewood Road footpath renewal, the Girraween /Hillier Road and Pioneer Drive/Norm Lane intersections upgrades.
  • Continue work to upgrade Fred’s Pass Sport and Recreation Reserve amenities including: equine facilities, cricket club change rooms, maintenance shed construction and further road and carpark upgrades.

Council will continue to have a focus on providing a variety of opportunities for residents to engage with the elected members and Council officers. So please join us in an ‘open space discussion hour’ prior to the Council meeting on Wednesday evening at 5.30 pm. This will be a regular opportunity prior to each monthly Council meeting (third Wednesday of the month).

Finally, on behalf of the Litchfield Australian Day Committee I would like to invite everyone to the 2020 Australian Day Fun Run and Award Ceremony at Lakeview Hall, Fred’s Pass Sport and Recreation Reserve starting at 7am, and then, commencing at 11am at Council Chambers, we welcome 7 new citizens from 5 different countries at the Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony. These community events are an opportunity to have some fun, catch up with friends and are not to be missed.

Maree Bredhauer