Annual report 2010 - 2011, Northern Territory Grants Commission
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Northern Territory Grants Commissions
Annual Report N O R TH ER N TER R ITO R Y G R A N TS CO M M ISSIO N 07 On behalf of my fellow Commissioners I am pleased to present the 25th annual report of the Northern Territory Grants Commission. The report contains information on the distribution of funding, as well as detailing the objectives, performance and future directions of the Commission. My belief is that the report conveys sufficient relevant information on the Commissions programs and performance during the year to enable any interested agency, organisation or individual to assess its operations and functioning. The coincidence of the introduction of New Local Government in 2008-09 and the completion of the phased-in methodology has allowed the Commission to take breath and determine its priorities into the future. During 2010-11 the primary focus of the Commission was the further refinement of our methodology in the following two areas: Review of the Location Factor; and Re-examine the regional centre recognition issue During the course of the 2011-12, the Commission will also be examining it road funding methodology in light of the proposed local road transfers form the Northern Territory Government to the recently created shires now that almost full incorporation of the Northern Territory has been achieved (as opposed to the previous five per cent of the land mass). Further information on the status of these activities is contained within the body of the report. Whilst the early information technology problems experienced by shires have been largely resolved, it is disappointing that a large number of the shire councils are still not meeting the statutory deadlines for submitting their audited financial statement and annual data returns to the Commission. However, I am pleased to advise that all councils eventually produced a full set of 2009-10 audited financial statements, along with completion of annual returns to the Commission. It is hoped that the continued delays experienced by the eight new local government shires in the presentation of this data will not be repeated in future years. The data collected is forwarded to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) for use in government finance statistics and national accounts. Through this process, a very good working relationship has been established between the relevant staff of ABS and the Commission. The Commission conducted a series of well attended visits to shires and their service delivery centres throughout the 2010-11 year. Five shire councils and their respective service delivery centres were visited, with a public hearing being held in Litchfield. On behalf of the Commission members I wish to record our appreciation for the valuable cooperation and assistance that we have received during our work throughout the year from local governing bodies, and in particular, those visited during the course of the year. The Commission is grateful for the executive support and assistance provided by Mr Peter Thornton and Mrs Donna Hadfield of the Local Government Grants Program of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Regional Services, combined with assistance and services provided by regional offices of the Department. I would also like to acknowledge the efforts of my colleagues: Ms Trish Angus, Mr Damien Ryan, Mr Steven Hennessy and deputies Mrs Lissa Herrmann and Mrs Margaret Vigants. Their assistance has been very much appreciated. There is no doubt that 2011-12 will be equally as challenging as the previous year. On behalf of all Commissioners, I look forward to working with the Minister for Local Government, all councils, councillors and staff and the Commonwealth Department of Regional Australia, Regional development and Local Government in the allocation of the funding, and in particular on any further refinement of the methodology. Bob Beadman Chairman
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