It’s always refreshing to welcome in a new year. It provides us with the opportunity to recharge our batteries and be ready for the year ahead. The year 2016 has come and gone. It was a busy year of Council and Councillors, and this year will be no different especially with local government elections in August.

During 2017, your Council will remain focussed on our commitment to listening and representing the community’s best interests - and building on the strong performance of 2016. We will be actively focussed on maintaining a high level of service delivery, developing many community assets, continuing our development of the ten-year waste management strategy and ensuring that our area remains the best place to live in the NT.

We start the year with a great community event, Litchfield Australia Day Celebration at Lakeview Hall, Fred Pass. The morning provides a great opportunity for residents and their friends to have some fun, go for a run, have breakfast, help us celebrate our award winners and welcome our new citizens. Come on down to Celebrations on Thursday 26 January: kick off at 7am with the Fun Run and activities for the children young and not so young.

The Litchfield Council Australia Day Awards recognise Litchfield’s unsung heroes and pay tribute to the special people in our community who go gone above and beyond to help improve the lives of others and contribute to the community.

Don’t let January pass by without taking advantage of the free Microchipping for all dogs in the Litchfield area. Free micro-chipping is possible through a Council 2016-7 budget allocation to promoting responsible pet ownership within the community. Micro-chipping is important as your dog’s microchip implant gives your pet the best chance of returning home to you if lost. Traditional modes of identification, like pet tags or ID collars, need to be replaced regularly—and can slip off, be removed, become hard to read— but microchips last for the life of the pet. The microchip is registered along with your current contact information in order to identify you as your pet’s owners. As long as there are pets, even those belonging to the most responsible, they can go missing.

I look forward to working with you all in the year ahead.