Territory Stories

The Council of Territory Co-operation Committee First Report February 2010

Details:

Title

The Council of Territory Co-operation Committee First Report February 2010

Other title

Tabled paper 714

Collection

Tabled papers for 11th Assembly 2008 - 2012; Tabled papers; ParliamentNT

Date

2010-02-24

Description

Tabled By Gerard Wood

Notes

Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.

Language

English

Subject

Tabled papers

File type

application/pdf

Use

Copyright

Copyright owner

See publication

License

https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2019C00042

Parent handle

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/280438

Citation address

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/416082

Page content

Council of Territory Co-operation 27 First Report charge realistic, cost-recovery rates, as the rate payers cannot afford to pay. The shortfall has to come from discretionary funding.101 The Council asked if it was the shires understanding that part of the incentive for the reform of local government was that it would make it easier to access sufficient road funding through the Australian Government.102 Ms OBrien, Deputy Mayor, Roper Gulf Shire, said that it was her understanding that, for particularly cattle properties and previously unincorporated areas, better roads was a large inducement.103 Ms OBrien further noted that with a shire population of 7000, the Shire does not have the capacity to generate income through rates, but that: I do believe council should be responsible for settings its own rates. If it is a directive from the government that rates must be set and we are self-funding, that is not fair by any means because of the size and the areas we have to operate in but not have control over. 104 The Council inquired about the financial impact of amalgamating the community government councils into the shires, of the condition of assets, financial records and if some had outstanding debts now inherited by shires. For some shires, a number of transferred assets, like older trucks and graders, need to be replaced, which in turn affects how much roads maintenance and other related work can be undertaken.105 Ms Proctor (Roper Gulf Shire) said that no community government councils came to the Roper Gulf Shire with debts, rather, most brought over cash reserves, some of which were quite substantial.106 Mr Roydon Robertson, Acting CEO, Central Desert Shire, said there was no indication of the level of debt that the shire was expected to take on and the shires full financial position remains unclear because of the inherited debts. We have inherited debts, we have inherited very poor financial positions, most of the books have qualified reports, with hundreds of thousands of dollars that cannot be accounted forso we are only just now putting together were our opening balance is, so apart from any problem we have withagencies, we have very little to start with. 107 Mr Damien Ryan, Mayor of Alice Springs, noted that during the reform process, the Town Council was told by government that the reform would not disadvantage Alice Springs Town Council in its receipt of funding. However, since the reform the Town Council has received reduced grants funding.108 The Council asked the Roper Gulf Shire about its financial capability to deliver commercial services expected of local governments.109 In response, Ms Proctor said: 101 LANT, Transcript of Proceedings, Tennant Creek, 19 November 2009, p.35. 102 Most shires agreed that was their understanding. This question is also discussed in a later section in this chapter on roads. 103 LANT, CTC, Transcript of Proceedings, Katherine, Wednesday 2 December 2009, p.22. 104 LANT, CTC, Transcript of Proceedings, Katherine, Wednesday 2 December 2009, pp.22-3. 105 LANT, CTC, Transcript of Proceedings, Katherine, Wednesday 2 December 2009, pp.5-6. The impact of transferred assets and their condition was also noted by Mr Graham Taylor, Chief Executive Officer, MacDonnell Shire, LANT, CTC, Transcript of Proceedings, Alice Springs, Monday 23 November 2009, p.58; Mr Phil West, Director of Works and Services, Barkly Shire Council, LANT, Transcript of Proceedings, Tennant Creek, 19 November 2009, p.34. 106 LANT, CTC, Transcript of Proceedings, Katherine, Wednesday 2 December 2009, p.24. 107 LANT, CTC, Transcript of Proceedings, Alice Springs, Monday 23 November 2009, pp.37-8. 108 LANT, CTC, Transcript of Proceedings, Alice Springs, Monday 23 November 2009, p.44. 109 The question specified the services as airstrips, boat ramps and barge landing maintenance, forestry operations, coastal river, maritime, navigation markers, community housing and building new construction, community stores, horticulture, housing repairs and maintenance, management of


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