What a year it has been - a year like no other!
As we speed into 2021, it is fitting that we take the opportunity to reflect on our many blessings and take stock of how fortunate we are to call Litchfield home. Despite COVID-19, and in some cases because of COVID-19, Council has achieved much and there is lots to celebrate!
Round 3 of the very popular "myLitchfield" program is now underway. To date we have 46 businesses registered and $140,000 of the total $180,000 has been spent. It is not too late to get on board and what a perfect way to play a part in sustaining local businesses by taking advantage of the opportunity as a customer to receive $40 worth of discounts every day - even getting a bargain on Christmas shopping from the diverse range of businesses engaged with the program, ranging from accommodation, food and drinks, personal care, and retail.
It is fantastic to see a range of activities, places, and events now available for the community to come together. Just in time for the school holidays, new playgrounds have been installed at Livingstone Recreation Reserve and Humpty Doo Village Green. We had such fantastic engagement from the community in selecting the design of these additions to our Reserves and we must acknowledge the help of our NT Government partner for these playgrounds through the SCALE funding.
The School Holiday program at Taminmin Community Library looks great with activities starting on 5 January and running through to the 29 January offering everything from arts and craft to movies, and electronics. Some activities require booking so get in early.
Congratulations to the Litchfield Community groups who have been awarded funds through the Community Grants 'Cash for Trash'. This year’s projects are wide ranging and offer activities for all including community arts projects, sporting events, International Women's Day, sporting, and community groups equipment purchase and refurbishments. Just over $27,000 has been awarded. 100% of this is raised from your recycling efforts at our waste transfer stations. So, while I congratulate the winners, I thank all who contribute through recycling. Keep it up and encourage others to do the same by taking your 10c drink containers and old car batteries to Humpty Doo, Berry Springs, or Howard Springs Waste Transfer Stations.
Our Southport residents will be please to know that Council has recently signed off the lease agreement for Mira Square and work will begin soon on making this area a true community space with open play area, car park and preliminary work for a community hall. This community facility will add much to the area and support the Southport Progress Association’s upcoming celebration of 150 years of history in the area. This event will be on Sunday 20 June 2021, so save it to your calendar now!
Our work through 2020 in partnership with NT government to fund various projects to help to get the local economy moving by supporting local employment and local business has been very successful. All the projects were chosen based on engaging community and / or improving the liveability of our area to ensure our Municipality remains the best place to live ‘and work’ in the Top End. We have delivered on 13 community projects to the value of $560,000 including: improvements to Council shared pathways and refurbishments, upgrades, and new work at our Reserves.
I was personally delighted to be involved with the initiation of the 'Get-Active Litchfield' program which saw a huge take up of engagement from community both as participants and providers. The Fred’s Pass Rural Show production of the Beyond the 50km Feast mini-series promoting our fantastic local producers and chefs has really showed off our space.
Powerful and effective advocacy is critical to growing our Community and it has been very pleasing indeed to see that the $21 million Mango Industry Strategic Roads project is well underway. We have and will continue to advocate on behalf of the community to ensure that our local infrastructure keeps pace with need. Improvements to Fred’s Pass Sports and Recreation Reserve, Library services, the development of a Community and Business Hub as well water security planning will be the focus over the coming year.
It was also great to be able to support Volunteer Bushfire Brigade with their annual Santa run. This is a great Litchfield tradition and there are generations of children who have great memories of eagerly awaiting with their Mums, Dads and friends for Santa to come along their street providing much cheer and good wishes.
I wish you and your family a safe and enjoyable holiday season, a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2021.
Stay safe and enjoy your space.
Mayor Maree Bredhauer