A very Happy New Year to all Litchfield Residents!
What a great January we are having with the wet season being so kind to us.
The wet does, however, bring its own challenges and for example escalates potholes problems. With over 700kms of road to maintain across the Municipality it helps if residents keep us informed about issues in your area - the sooner holes are reported the quicker they can be mended. The downloadable app Snap, Send, Solve is a great way to alert us to any potholes you see. Alternatively, you can email or ring Council to report.
In the past year, Council has achieved much, and this year will be no different as we work to achieve all targets set out in the 20/21 Municipal Plan and even more as we have been able to take advantage of additional COVID related grants funding.
The “myLitchfield" program has come to an end and I am pleased to say that this initiative, which was supported by NTG, has been very successful for business in the area. Of the three rounds a total voucher value of $180,000 has been redeemed by participants which equates to over $1million injected into the Litchfield economy. Well done to the 5300 plus residents who made use of the vouchers and the 52 businesses who got on board.
Our Litchfield Council website is a dynamic space which is easy to navigate and is updated frequently with current news and events. New features have been installed which facilitate your connection with Council and Councillors. These include a ‘webform' where you can submit questions for Council meetings. Another form enables community groups and organisations to invite the Mayor and/or Councillors to an event.
In the next few weeks, we will be celebrating our great community with several events and activities.
First up, of course, is Australia Day on Tuesday 26 January. This year our early morning celebration and fun run will be a bit different ensuring we are COVID safe. As usual Lakeview Hall at Fred Pass Sport and Recreation Reserve is the location with the Fun Run, starting at 7.30am, then the Rotary Club brekkie and Jumping Castle from 8am.
At 8:30am the more formal part of the day begins with the Flag raising, recognition of fantastic community volunteers and announcement of our 2021 Litchfield Australia day award recipients and Litchfield Citizen of the Year.
You can then finish off with a cuppa and Lamington (and other Australian favourites) for Morning Tea provided by another of our great Community groups, the Litchfield Lions.
At Council Chambers at 11am we will welcome 19 new citizens with the Australian Citizenship Ceremony.
Please join us for the morning of celebration and fun.
Calling out to all Litchfield artists it is not too late to register for this year’s Art Exhibition. Following the success of this event over the past two years, 2021 will see an expansion of categories and prizes. The exhibition is hosted in collaboration with Darwin Community Arts who do great work in our community providing residents with opportunity to engage their artistic talents. The exhibition theme this year is 'Water'.
I am proud to say that in the short time Council has taken the lead on providing Library Services to our area we have continued to expand the service and engage more widely with the community. Congratulations to the library staff who put together the best free school holiday program this year. It has received great reviews by children and parents alike.
In case you are unaware of our Litchfield Community Library, services are so easy to access offering free membership to residents and facilities including: Free wifi, newspapers, document scanning, photocopying and use of public access computers. You can loan an unlimited number of items for 4 weeks. The fabulous Click and Collect service is available for those who do not have time to visit. Click and Collect allows you chose all your reading and entertainment needs online then just pop in quickly to collect the items chosen - visit https://taminmin.on.worldcat.org/discovery to view the catalogue. If you are not that tech savvy, the skilled library staff are always happy to assist, just call (08) 8988 1200 and someone will help to organise your order.
Of special note is the change of Electoral Boundaries and number of Councillors commencing with the next Local Government Election.
The Minister for Local Government, Hon. Chanston Paech has recently announced changes to the Litchfield Municipality that will commence at the August 2021 election.
At this election the current four ward structure and boundaries will be abolished and replaced by 3 wards (Central, North and South Ward) with two members elected for each of the wards. This will mean six Elected Members in total plus Mayor.
Council commenced in the mid 1980's with a population of approximately 5,000 and was represented by five Elected Members. Now with five times the population, growing services and facilities, the community will have more representation in Council.
As always do not hesitate to call me to get more information or to discuss any topics I have mentioned. Full details of most are available on the Council Website.
The next Council meeting is on Thursday 28 January @ 6:30pm and I would encourage you to join myself and Councillors for the open space discussion prior to the meeting at 6pm.
Mayor Maree Bredhauer