Thursday, December 8, 2022

The great Local Authority debate: Should it stay or should it go?

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Barkly Regional Council is urging residents and ratepayers to have their say whether the Tennant Creek Local Authority (TCLA) should continue.

A questionnaire on the Council’s website is asking for input to decide if the local Authority, funded to the tune of $100,000 a year, is viable.

Mayor Jeffrey McLaughlin
Mayor Jeffrey McLaughlin

Seven members are chosen each year to represent voices of the Tennant Creek community, however Mayor Jeffrey McLaughlin says with five elected Councillors and a Mayor, the voices should be channelled through them.

The Barkly Local Authorities of Ali Curung, Alpurrurulam, Ampilatwatja, Arlparra, Elliott and Wutunugurra Local Authorities would remain in place.

Mayor McLaughlin said while many ideas voiced by the TCLA during his time in his role as Councillor and Mayor over the last four years have reaped benefits, it would be a time-saver for Council staff and members to direct ideas through elected members.

The Mayor assures us Council would still receive the $100,000 for improvements to the Tennant Creek township without the Local Authority in place.

Karan Hayward
Former TCLA member Karan Hayward.

Former Tennant Creek Local Authority member and Councillor, Karan Hayward, says the members over the last four years have provided a voice for the young and old.

Improvements including the chapel and beautification project at the local cemetery, the Lake Mary Ann playground, shade at the Showgrounds and bus shelters were proof of the Authority’s success.

“We need to hear from our residents who are on the ground during the time when it’s not an election period,” said Ms Hayward.

“These people who put their hand up have a love for the town they live in and don’t have political agendas.

“The former CEO decided it was too much time and energy for his workers to attend the meetings after work, and that is why it has been deemed unfavourable.

“But it’s these voices from our community who can make a difference.

“I believe the Local Authority for Tennant Creek should stay and I urge everyone in Tennant Creek to take part in the consultation process.”

Following the Northern Territory Local Government Election last August, all Barkly region Local Authority positions were vacated, with nominations called in October.

The Tennant Times understands there were a number of nominations received for the TCLA, but the Authority remains unrepresented.

For many years, the TCLA has supported the Barkly Regional Council and has been a strong community voice in helping to resolve local issues and delivering local projects.

The consultation period ends on 23 February 2022.

You can fill the survey out by visiting www.barkly.nt.gov.au/barkly-regional-deal/tcla-survey

Tennant & District Times 11 February 2022

This article appeared in Tennant & District Times, 11 February 2022.

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