A message from the Chief Executive Officer

(from the 2018–19 Regional Plan for the MacDonnell Regional Council)

In celebrating our tenth birthday MacDonnell Regional Council reflects on achieving outstanding success by attaining many of its strategic goals.

A strong focus of building a solid foundation has resulted in communities that are clean and tidy with reliable services and amenities. After so many years of inconsistent service provision, our residents now enjoy infrastructure and amenities that other people in Australia take for granted.

MacDonnell Regional Council has also become a major employer of local Aboriginal people in the region. Importantly allowing people to move away from generational welfare into real employment. Our staff now enjoy the long term benefits of career paths and a suite of paid leave entitlements.

As we enter our second decade of operation we will continue to focus on improving job opportunities, services and infrastructure – with a stronger focus of better engaging and communicating with our constituents.

During the past year five new members have joined Council following the general local government elections in 2017. The new Council has now set their 2018 — 22 Strategic Plan that incorporates the 2018 — 19 Regional Plan.

It features a strong focus on creating job opportunities, supporting the improvement of housing services, providing assistance for local enterprise development and engaging with our youth to develop future leadership.

Council recognises that it must continue to engage with all residents and looks to further build strong relationships with our other stakeholders. Our Local Authorities continue to mature and become confident in their decision making and this plan looks to build on their wonderful achievements. They are critical for ensuring the voice of the community is heard at Council.

MacDonnell Regional Council acknowledges both the Federal and Territory governments for their commitment to supporting regional infrastructure and services. Council will work closely with all stakeholders to assist in progressing regional development that will create opportunities for remote residents to move from welfare dependency to real jobs.

Against a shrinking income stream MacDonnell Regional Council is faced with ever increasing constituent expectation. Our expenses over the forward estimates are set to increase by an average of 1.7% while our rates (representing just 2.7% of revenue), alongwith our fees and charges, will rise by a modest 1.95%. Council continues to review all operational costs while ensuring it maintains its Aboriginal employment rates.

In light of the tight fiscal environment, Council continues to develop close relationships with other regional stakeholders to facilitate joint services and community development projects. The Central Australian Waste Management Project has delivered great environmental health benefits through a joint co-operation between the Barkly, Central Desert and MacDonnell Regional Councils.

I commend the staff of MacDonnell Regional Council for their commitment to improve the lives of Council residents by delivering valued and relevant services in an extremely dynamic environment.

Through feedback from our Local Authorities and with Councils’ strong and visionary guidance, responsible fiscal policy, quality management and supportive staff – MacDonnell Regional Council is ready to deliver on this Regional Plan.

Jeff MacLeod
Chief Executive Officer
MacDonnell Regional Council