Thursday, June 20, 2024

The freedom of the press still furnishes that check upon government which no constitution has ever been able to provide – Chicago Tribune.

HomeIssue 37Letter: Paying rates for nothing?

Letter: Paying rates for nothing?

Sir – Recently we received a rates notice from the MacDonnell Shire for the sum of $788.69 and accompanying it was the statement that if we didn’t pay by a certain date we would be charged interest at 17% per annum, calculated daily.
Lyn, my wife, was so annoyed she rang the number on the invoice to see what services the Shire were going to provide us.  A man answered, the accent was Indian. Was he based in India?
He told Lyn we would receive street lighting! Obviously the man had a script to follow and was using the spin that we hear often from the Northern Territory Government.
Minister McCarthy then tells us that the government is working to make the shires more empowering.  How?
In the past three years we have never set eyes upon one single MacDonnell Shire employee in our neck of the woods.
We generate our own electricity, empty our own bins, take care of the garbage dump, generate our own power, supply our own lighting, grade our own roads and pump our own water – all at an extremely high cost.
We, the people of the bush who are self-sufficient should not be paying into this Clayton, obviously revenue raising rate fund. The hub towns too are suffering hardship.
Complaints can be heard every day from people who can barely survive, let alone pay the exorbitant rates. Empowering the people – I don’t think so.
Ian Conway
Kings Creek Station
ED – The Alice Springs News Online has asked the MacDonnell Shire for a comment.


  1. I understand indeed Ian Conway’s frustration at Kings Creek Station.
    When will the shire’s larger privately owned corporate land owners be required to start paying rates and costs for their private properties?
    For example, are ALR(NT) Land Trusts at Amoonguna, Haasts Bluff, Hermannsburg, Jay Creek, Lake Mackay, Petermanm, Santa Teresa, Uluru and others going to pay?
    Many shareholders in these private corporation owned lands are both shareholders and residents, where along with most residents they are still denied valid leases for their homes.
    Yet these private corporate owned lands include many publicly serviced communities.
    The main communities in these privately owned corporate landholdings do receive municipal services.
    These privately owned corporate land owners also benefit from considerable publicly funded subsidies towards costs for services to these private communities on their private land.
    The Commonwealth needs to require these private corporate entities to start acting responsibly, start paying all their service fees.

  2. Our rates declaration is published on our website and advertisements put out for public comment (Shire Plan) allowing the public to comment.
    We do not charge for rubbish / waste where there is no service.
    Lindsay Wright
    MacDonnell Shire

  3. I laughed when I read this. Mr Conway whinging about paying rates like everyone else has to.
    He also has not paid my children or I for work carried out on his station.
    Seems he doesn’t like paying for anything? Suck it up and pay like the rest of the country does.
    [ED – We invited Mr Conway to reply.]


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