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



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

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Tabled paper 714


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




Tabled By Gerard Wood


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.




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Council of Territory Co-operation 31 First Report In response to the Councils questioning about what went wrong with the IT system, Mr Kennedy said while the TechOne system is a good system there was no overall business management of the process. He added: There was no one, in my view, who was looking at how the shires would operate in a holistic way; looking at what funding they needed, what funding they had access to, what training was available, etcetera. 126 The Council asked Ms Helen Galton (Darwin City Council) and Mr Robert Macleod (Palmerston Mayor), about the remaining local government reform issues for shires, from their knowledge of discussions at the Local Government Association of the Northern Territory (LGANT). Ms Galton and Mr Macleod said that the inability of shires to produce accurate financial reports remains a major concern. Mr Macleod added that one of the biggest things about the reform was the way it was done, that it was done too fast and no elected members picked their senior management staff. This has led to a lot of turn-over of shire chief executives.127 Recommendation 14 The Council recommends the Northern Territory Government immediately increases the establishment funding that was provided for new shires, taking into consideration the unexpected costs from ShireBiz. Recommendation 15 The Council recommends the Northern Territory Government improves the available elected members training program to increase the knowledge and understanding elected members of shires and municipals have of the reformed Local Government Act and their legal and financial responsibility under the Act. Further, that the Government investigates the possibility for this training to be delivered independently. Local roads Most shire councils indicated that it was unclear what roads in particular, they will be responsible for maintaining. The problem for shire councils is that it affects longerterm budget planning in two ways. The first is in the amount of funding available to undertake roads maintenance and the other is that most shires have inherited inadequate number and standard of road maintenance plant. Ms Catherine Proctor (Roper Gulf Shire) said that she saw an early map of roads from DPI about two years ago that showed the roads, colour coded according to whether local government, Northern Territory Government or Australian Government were responsible for them.128 Her understanding from that time was that the roads would be transferred over a timeframe of five years. She added that she had recently attended a meeting with DPI where there was a commitment made about working on a plan to transfer roads to shires. However, there was no commitment at the meeting about the condition or standard the roads would need to be prior to transfer, or about the level of roads funding.129 126 LANT, CTC, Transcript of Proceedings, Katherine, Wednesday, 2 December 2009, p.46. 127 LANT, CTC, Transcript of Proceedings, Darwin, Tuesday, 10 November 2009, p.20. 128 Believed to be referring to the Department of Planning and Infrastructure; since 4 December 2009, the Department of Lands and Planning. 129 LANT, CTC, Transcript of Proceedings, Katherine, Wednesday, 2 December 2009, p.16.

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