Community members would be aware that the Shire President, Cr Seriwati Iku recently led a delegation to Canberra which included Cr Tony Lacy, Acting CEO Joanne Soderlund, incoming CEO Andrea Selvey and the Territory Controller Anna Swain.
The delegation was strongly supported by the Administrator, Natasha Griggs who facilitated meetings with senior members of the Government including The Hon John McVeigh, MP, Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government; The Hon Julie Bishop, MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs; The Hon David Littleproud MP, Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources; The Hon Warren Entsch MP, Chair Joint Standing Committee for Northern Australia; The Hon Melissa Price, MP, A
ssistant Minister for the Environment; The Hon Peter Dutton, MP, Minister for Home Affairs; Senator Malarndirri McCarthy; Senator The Hon Nigel Scullion; Dr Steven Kennedy, PSM, Secretary, De
partment of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities and various other senior public servants.
These meetings provided an invaluable opportunity to highlight the positive outcomes of initiatives carried out with the support of the Department and raise current issues that require further attention.
The more significant matters raised by the delegation while in Canberra included the need for urgent consideration of the replacement of the RJ Hawke; management and disposal of waste, particularly asbestos; the need for assistance with separating the Land Trust account from the Shire accounts to enable more robust understanding and reporting of Land Trust finances; the significant barrier to economic development arising from businesses not being able to secure insurance; the lack of mobile phone coverage; and concerns regarding quarantine regulations applied to fresh produce on disrupted VARA/Virgin passenger flights from Perth to the Indian Ocean Territories, including offering a very workable solution.
While we understand the challenges, particularly budget constraints, we were pleased with the overall positive response we received in all our meetings and look forward to working with the Department and other stakeholders in making progress on these matters in the near future.
The delegation also attended the ALGA National General Assembly (NGA). This forum is the peak annual event for Local Government, and provides a unique opportunity for Local Government to directly develop national policy and to influence the future direction of our councils and our communities
The NGA included sessions on innovations in waste management, encouraging and supporting economic and community development and resilience, changing demographics and how public policy will need to respond.
The recent visit by Minister McVeigh provided an excellent opportunity for us to showcase community innovation and creativity and the great work we have been able to do with the support of the Commonwealth Government and further discussions commenced in Canberra. We were able to reinforce the messages we raised in Canberra allowing the Minister to see them first-hand.
We would like to acknowledge the support and hard work of the Administrator Natasha Griggs in securing meetings, arranging the Minister’s visit to the IOT and in general for her commitment to our community.
For anyone wanting more detail on the visit, please don’t hesitate to contact Andrea at the Shire office.
Chief Executive Officer