The Council of Territory Co-operation Committee First Report February 2010
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.
Council of Territory Co-operation 33 First Report the reasons that the Northern Territory Government wanted local government reform is that it had an agreement with the Australian Government that there would be an increase in road funding. Mr Ryan agreed that was his understanding and added that a big part of discussions with shires during the reform was that there would be increased road funding. Mr Ryan said that he thinks the Territory is currently underfunded for local roads because the recognised road distance is short by about 8000 kilometres.137 Ms Cannon (Victoria Daly Shire) said that the shire was currently responsible for maintaining 200 or 300 kilometres of local roads, but that this was expected to increase to 2000 or 3000 kilometres in the future. The Council asked what the shires anticipated increase in funding was for the additional roads. Ms Cannon said she was part of the LGANT position on the transfer of roads. This was explained as that before any council accepts additional roads, they should all be an acceptable standard and there should be a road hierarchy that clarifies responsibility and funding for regional and adjoining roads.138 Also linked to shires responsibilities for roads is local employment. Some shires employ local people in road construction and maintenance. Most shires said that as part of financially assessing the most economical way to provide future road services, the need for additional or upgraded plant and the effect on local employment were being examined. Ms Cannon (Victoria Daly Shire) said: There is a general feeling even if we were going to be doing it ourselves, leasing [plant] per job would be the best and cheapest way to do it. Whether we subcontract or not and how that works, all I can say is our road construction crew, which gets the period contracts under DPI, makes quite a sum of money which comes back to the shire. Whether you are talking local employment or not, that is 15 local Indigenous guys doing all the roads along that area. So there are positives and negatives. 139 Recommendation 16 The Council recommends the Northern Territory Government resolves the status of road corridors to growth towns through Aboriginal Trust Land with appropriate land councils. Recommendation 17 The Council recommends the Northern Territory Government finalise the handover of roads to shires, by: (e) Consulting with shires on the proposed roads for hand over; (f) Auditing the state of roads and identifying all works required before handing the roads over; (g) Upgrading roads to a satisfactory standard prior to handover; and (h) Identifying on going funding for these roads. Recommendation 18 The Councils recommends the Northern Territory Government seek an explanation from the Australian Government for why there has been no increase in road funding in the newly incorporated shires, as there was for the Pitjantjatjara Council. 137 LANT, CTC, Transcript of Proceedings, Alice Springs, Monday, 23 November 2009, p.45. 138 LANT, CTC, Transcript of Proceedings, Katherine, Wednesday, 2 December 2009, p.5. 139 LANT, CTC, Transcript of Proceedings, Katherine, Wednesday, 2 December 2009, p.8.
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