Territory Stories

Options for Regional Governance in the Northern Territory : Consultation Paper : Regional Governance Working Group

Details:

Title

Options for Regional Governance in the Northern Territory : Consultation Paper : Regional Governance Working Group

Creator

Northern Territory. Department of Local Government and Community Services

Collection

Department of Local Government and Community Services newsletters bulletins; PublicationNT; E-Journals

Date

2013-03-01

Description

This publication contains may contain links to external sites. These external sites may no longer be active.; Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).

Notes

This publication contains many links to external sites. These external sites may no longer be active.

Language

English

Subject

Northern Territory. -- Department of Local Government and Community Services -- Periodicals.; Community development -- Northern Territory -- Periodicals.

Publisher name

Northern Territory Government

Place of publication

Darwin

File type

application/pdf

Copyright owner

Northern Territory Government

Parent handle

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/258124

Citation address

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/506192

Page content

Background Key areas for improvement In July 2008, eight shire councils were formed from over 50 local government bodies that had previously operated in regional and remote Northern Territory. The Regional Governance Working Groups first meeting on 30 November 2012, looked at what was missing and what was not working well under the current model. The Working Group identified the following as main issues: Many local communities felt they were not being listened to and were not receiving enough information about what was happening in their community and the work the local government shire council was doing. Minor repairs and maintenance of public housing and local roads were taking too long and appeared to be managed by someone with little local knowledge. (NT Housing contracts shire councils to provide the public housing repairs and maintenance program). In many towns and communities the Australian and Northern Territory governments had set up additional consultation groups and committees. This often caused confusion and exhaustion, and also undermined the shire councils local boards. Councils had stopped providing help with personal support services such as assistance with completing official forms, travel bookings or collecting firewood for elderly residents. Local shire councils had often been poorly resourced. Some residents of outstations and homelands currently receive services from local government councils while others receive these services from an outstation service provider. All residents within the council boundary are eligible to vote in the council elections regardless of the service provider. This situation increases confusion over issues such as responsibility for road access and increases the probability of administrative and cost inefficiencies. How local government works in regional and remote NT The current NT Local Government Act has created two forms of local government councils: shire councils and municipal councils. The legislation requires shire councils to deliver core local government services such as removing rubbish, maintaining local roads and managing dogs. Then there are non-core local government services. For example, the Australian and the Northern Territory governments may pay the shire council to deliver services like aged care, community safety patrols or public housing maintenance. Some shire councils also have commercial operations (for example, supermarkets and garages) and provide other services to their communities. Regional and remote shire councils deliver many more non-core services than is the case for the Northern Territorys municipal councils. Local government income and spending The biggest part (76%) of shire council income and spending is on non-core services. Only a quarter (24%) of shire council income and spending is on core services. In 201213, it is predicted that the eight larger shire councils will spend $63 million on core local government services, and $200 million on non-core services. Shire council income for delivery of core local government services mainly comes from: rates paid on land charges for waste management government grants. 5Options for Regional Governance in the Northern Territory


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