August 2016 – Peter Clee President

PeterWhat’s been happening……

 Waste Management contractor for kerbside pickup seems to be settling in. They have been operating with a temporary vehicle pending the delivery of a new permanent collection vehicle. There have been no complaints to me about the contractor’s operation in the last month. The kerbside pickups are scheduled to commence at 8am in Wagait Beach every Wednesday morning.

The next collections for hard waste have been programmed to occur from 2 – 16 September then 16 – 30 December and 3 – 17 March 2017.

Council have introduced a Waste Management Levy to pay for the kerbside collection and it has been set at $300 per annum. This fee also covers the quarterly hard waste collection service offered by council. There is a supplementary waste disposal levy charged quarterly if an additional wheelie bin is used at any time during that quarter.

Council has established an Audit Committee. The committee consists of two Councillors, one community member and an independent Chairperson. Mr Russell Anderson has been appointed as the Chairperson. The Audit Committee will meet quarterly and will provide oversight and guidance to the CEO. The audit committee is an NTG requirement for all councils. The first meeting of the Audit committee will probably be when the 2015/16 financials are released.

A Public Meeting was held on August 2 at the Community Centre. The meeting considered matters requiring review by the Electoral Commissioner and these will be considered by council at its August meeting.

The public meeting also considered the Wagait Shire Council Strategic Plan for the next 5 years. Priorities were identified and may be incorporated whole or in part into the Strategic Plan which is currently being reviewed

Now that KENBI has settled and handback of lands to the traditional owners has commenced it is appropriate to consider the long term requirements of Local Government on the Cox Peninsula. Whilst I would argue strongly that Wagait Council is sustainable in its present form. There is little doubt that a small council like Wagait Shire can coexist with a larger council in the same area. We must look at options to expand out boundaries and move toward a satisfactory Regional Council solution. The tri Council working group of Belyuen, Coomalie and Wagait have agreed to appoint consultants to give the councils and their residents options to consider moving forward.

Amalgamation discussions have been ongoing over the last 12 months. The Department of Local Government’s David Willing has stated that “if we do not amalgamate then our funding will be in doubt in the future”. It is inconceivable that serious consultation can be carried out while ever the Department of Local Government holds that threat over our heads. Council will continue discussions in good faith in anticipation of options and recommendations forthcoming from consultants who have been commissioned to do so.

The council’s current position on Amalgamations is based on previous public meetings which have indicated:

  • No amalgamations with Darwin City Council
  • No amalgamations with Litchfield Municipal Council
  • A preference to remain a separate council
  • Amalgamate with Belyuen is acceptable
  • Incorporate adjacent unincorporated lands into Wagait Shire
  • No desire for amalgamation with Coomalie
  • No amalgamation with Bynoe / Dundee areas

Council will present amalgamation and regional council recommendations to the community for consideration.

Ventia, the contractor that is undertaking the remediation work on the old Radio Australia sites; and the Australian Communications and Media Authority are donating the old Radio Towers to Wagait Council to assist in regional communications solutions. Work has been delayed in disassembly of the towers because an Osprey had a nest with chicks at the top of the tower. The disassembly of the towers will commence in August or September.

The CEO Deborah Allen has been with council now for just over 1 year. During that time Deborah has done a splendid job at managing the Council, the council workforce and the needs of the community. Deborah is considered a valued member of council staff and of the community.

In early August I tried to meet with Minister Bess Price to present our Shire Plan and to discuss where Wagait Shire Council is heading over the next few years. I was unable to secure that meeting.

I have appeared on ABC radio twice in the last month promoting the community and answering questions.

Council has prepared a briefing paper for all candidates in the forthcoming NT election. The paper briefed candidates on the needs of the community. We need to actively lobby and promote Wagait to the numerous candidates for Daly.

Don’t forget to vote on Saturday, August 27th. Also Early Voting commences on Monday 15th August.

Where have I been …..

5th July                 Weekly meeting with CEO

12th July                Weekly meeting with CEO

11th July                ABC Radio – Cox Peninsula Development proposals

13th July                Meeting with Litchfield Mayor Maree Bredhauer

19th July                Weekly meeting with CEO

19th July                On site meeting Ventia, CEO and Cr Brad Irvine – Donation of ACMA towers to council

19th July                Council Meeting

20th July                ABC Radio – Grass Roots interview

25th July                Weekly meeting with CEO

2nd August           Weekly Meeting with CEO

9th August           Weekly meeting with CEO

10th August         Wagait Emergency Recovery Committee

12th August         TOPROC Meeting @ Litchfield Shire Council

16th August         Weekly Meeting with CEO

16th August         Council Meeting

I regret not having a regular monthly report out over the last 12 months as I have been away at times caring for my mother. I also had a lot on my mind with her illness and subsequent death. I will try to get a report out now more regularly.