Myself and Peter McLinden, LGANT’s Manager Transport and Infrastructure Services, attended the 2015 National Local Roads and Transport Congress in Ballarat on 18-19 November.
The focus was on making local roads part of the national policy narrative and this point was outlined very clearly to Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss, Minister for Territories, Local Government and Major Projects Paul Fletcher and Shadow Transport and Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese.
LGANT shares the view of Australian Local Government Association President Troy Pickard that roads are not just about now, but also the future.
Politicians, no matter their political stripe, need to understand that local roads are vital in achieving the productivity benefits of national road reform and that roads not only connect communities but are critical to building national productivity.
I know I speak for local government across the Northern Territory when I say we all work extremely hard maintaining infrastructure within limited existing resources and that the ongoing challenge is ensuring the very real needs that exist in the Territory are not overlooked in favor of the more populated but less disadvantaged centres.
With votes still being counted and the poll not expected to be declared until Monday 7 December, it would be premature to offer any comment on the outcome of the Litchfield Council election other than to say I hope residents are in for a period of stable, sensible governance over the next 18 months.
Nobody likes to see the events that unfolded earlier this year, and in a perfect world there would have been no need for the Northern Territory Government to have intervened and dismissed the Council.
But I’m extremely hopeful that the election of a new Council on Saturday and the appointment of a new CEO (see article below) will usher in an era of productive, co-operative local government that the residents of the Top End’s rural area deserve.
For other news, read the latest LGANT Newsletter.
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