What a fantastic Fred’s Pass Rural Show last weekend. There was lots to see, do and a whole lot of fun. Rural shows are all about community and the displays, children’s art work, produce and tart competition were testament to that. Personally, I had a lot of fun judging the cupcake decorating where the town pollies just pipped our local heroes. Councillors and volunteer staff were engaged with the public all weekend. Council is happy to be major sponsor of this event.

It is that time of year again when rates are declared along with the draft municipal plan completed. Council have set the 2017/18 rates to cover the things we have to do to improve our municipality. Of the estimated budget expenditure of $17m around 57% is raised by rates. It is interesting to note that while the population of Litchfield has doubled over the past 10 years the number of rateable premises has only marginally increased. Roads, reserves and refuse remain our priority and the major items of expenditure. Approximately 60% of Council staff are engaged in direct service delivery and of the $6m allocated to staffing costs about 43% is actual wages. The rest is oncosts such as training, superannuation, long service leave, work cover and insurances.

When you get your household rate notice you will find rates have increased by 5%. This however is offset by the cessation of the $50 a year waste transfer levy which means you will pay less overall this year.

Council Development and Subdivision Standards have been reviewed and these are available for public consultation for the next 28 days. The draft Litchfield Municipal plan is also out for public viewing and I encourage you to have a read and get back to Council with your comments by 31 May, 2017.

Contact the Mayor through the website, email maree.bredhauer@litchfiled.nt.gov.au , phone 0437517709 or use the Snap, Send, Solve app.

 Next Council meeting is Wednesday, 21, June at 6pm.