The desert community of Titjikala south of Alice Springs last night won the national Heritage and Culture section of the Keep Australia Beautiful, Australian Tidy Towns Awards 2014. The award was picked up by community members including CEO Jeff MacLeod, and Sid Anderson (pictured), president of MacDonnell Regional Council, at the presentation ceremony in Victor Harbor, SA, last night.
PICTURED (from left) are Jeff Macleod, CEO MacDonnell Regional Council; Peter McLean, CEO Keep Australia Beautiful, Sid Anderson, President, MacDonnell Regional Council; Darren Wilyuka, Civil Works Assistant, Titjikala; Heimo Schober, Keep Australia Beautiful Council (NT) and Kevin Moneymoon, Civil Works Assistant, Titjikala.
The tiny Aboriginal community of Titjikala south of Alice Springs, having won the top spot for the Territory in the Australian Tidy Towns awards, now hopes to win the Australia wide competition to be announced on Friday at Victor Harbour in South Australia. PHOTO: The Titjikala Civil Works team (from left to right) Dennis Douglas, Darren Wilyuka, Kevin Moneymoon, Malcome Moneymoon, Desmond Jack and Dougie Wells with Heimo Schober, CEO Keep Australia Beautiful Council NT (third from left) and Dave MacGregor, Shire Service Coordinator (fifth from left) in stand proudly in front of the children’s park and shaded family seating.
The desert community of Titjikala, south of Alice Springs, is the Northern Territory’s 2013 Tidy Towns Winner and now in the running for this year's Keep Australia Beautiful Australian Tidy Towns awards.
The new rule prohibiting shire employees from standing for election to the shire council will have a big impact in MacDonnell Shire, with at least five of the 12 councillors opting to stay in their jobs and not run again in the March poll.
In the Rodinga Ward – covering the communities of Amoonguna, Santa Teresa, Titjikala and Finke – this is the case for all four councillors.
The rule seems like a 'no brainer' if you think about conflict of interest issues, but as ever, conditions in remote communities put a different slant on things.
Councillor Joe Rawson lives at Titjikala. He works as an essential services officer (ESO), and will not run again. The rule will "put a big hole in the Rodinga Ward", he said. Does he think other candidates will come forward in the ward?
"It comes down to employment – 99% of employment comes through MacDonnell Shire. To try to get others to nominate who are not on the MacDonnell Shire payroll is very hard ... if they don't have motor vehicles, the shire won't supply motor vehicles. You have to maintain your own vehicle to get to and from the meetings.
"We get an allowance – sitting fees, travel allowance every time we travel , but ... if you do a diff, you might get $700 to come to a meeting but it'll end up costing $1400 to fix the diff." KIERAN FINNANE reports.
Pictured, from top: Councillors Joe Rawson and Roxanne Kenny – he will not stand again but she will.