Country Idealist Profiles

Northern Territory – City Government Structure

Posted in Australia, Northern Territory (Australia), Northern Territory (Australia) Basics by mjoymatheson on August 14, 2008

The authority to establish a local government was granted to the city of Darwin in 1957 and subsequently was extended to Katherine, Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, Litchfield, and Palmerston, as well as to other towns across the territory. Provision was made for a limited form of local government in small communities by the Local Government Act of 1985; by the beginning of the 21st century, the territory had more than 60 officially recognized “local governing bodies,” including municipal and community councils, incorporated associations, and one special-purpose town. Some of the programs and facilities administered by local governments include various health and public services, housing, stores, and community recreation centres.

The Darwin City Council (Incorporated under the Northern Territory Local Government Act 1993) governs the City of Darwin which takes in the CBD and the suburbs. The Darwin City Council consists of 13 elected members, the Lord Mayor and 12 aldermen. The City of Darwin electorate is organised into four electoral units or wards. The names of the wards are Chan, Lyons, Richardson, and Waters.  The constituents of each ward are directly responsible for electing three aldermen. Constituents of all wards are directly responsible for electing the Lord Mayor of Darwin.  The rest of the Darwin area is divided into 2 local government areas. One of these is designated as a City, and the second, which is on the city’s outer fringe, has the title of Shire. These areas have elected councils which are responsible for functions delegated to them by the Northern Territory Government, such as planning and garbage collection.

The Alice Springs town council consists of the Mayor and ten elected Aldermen. Elections are held every four years.

Source(s):
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/419912/Northern-Territory/43514/People#tab=active~checked%2Citems~checked&title=Northern%20Territory%20%3A%3A%20People%20–%20Britannica%20Online%20Encyclopedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darwin,_Northern_Territory
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice_Springs%2C_Northern_Territory

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Northern Territory – Local Government Areas

Posted in Australia, Northern Territory (Australia), Northern Territory (Australia) Basics by mjoymatheson on August 14, 2008

There are four classes of local government areas in the Northern Territory:

  • Municipalities: Alice Springs Town Council, City of Darwin, Jabiru Town Council, Katherine Town Council, SHire of Litchfield, City of Palmerston, Tennant Creek Town Council.
  • Community Government Councils: Alpurrururulam, Angurugu, Anmatjere, Arltarlpilta, Belyuen, Binjari, Borroloola, Coomalie, Cox Peninsula, Daguragu, Elliott District, Jikminggan, Kunbarllanjinja, Lajamanu, Ltyentye Purte, Marngarr, Mataranka, Nauiyu Nambiyu, Numbulwar Numburindi, Nyirranggulung Mardrulk Ngadberre, Pine Creek, Tipatjatjaka, Thamarrurr, Timber Creek, Tiwi Islands, Walangeri Ngumpinku, Wallace Rockhole, Watiyawanu, Yuendumu, Yugul Mangi
  • Incorporated Associations: Aherrenge Association, Ali Curung Council Association, Amoonguna Community, Aputula Housing Association, Areyonga Community, Galiwin’ku Community, Gapuwiyak Community, Ikuntji Community Council, Imanpa Community, Kaltukatjara Community Council, Maningrida Council, Milingimbi Community, Milyakburra Community Council, Minjilang Community, Nganmarriyanga Community, Ntaria Council, Nyirripi Community, Papunya Community Council, Peppimenarti Community Council, Ramingining Community Council, Umbakumba Community Council, Urapuntja Council Abor. Corp (Utopia), Walungurru Council (Kintore), Warruwi Community, Yirrkala Dhanbul Community Association, Yuelamu Community
  • Special Purpose Town: Jabiru

The Northern Territory Government has proposed that the existing LGAs be merged into nine shires and four municipal councils, in an attempt to rationalise resources.
Proposed municipal councils: Alice Springs, Darwin, Katherine and Palmerston
Proposed Shire Councils: Barkly Shire, Central Desert Shire, East Arnhem Shire, Roper Shire, MacDonnell Shire, Tiwi Islands Local Government, Top End-Litchfield Shire, Victoria River-Daly Shire, West Arnhem Shire

Source(s):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Territory%2C_Australia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Local_Government_Areas_of_the_Northern_Territory

Northern Territory – Administrative Structure Websites

Posted in Australia, Northern Territory (Australia), Northern Territory (Australia) Basics by mjoymatheson on August 14, 2008

Northern Territory Government: http://www.nt.gov.au
The Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory: http://www.nt.gov.au/lant/
Local Government Association of the Northern Territory: http://www.lgant.nt.gov.au/
Northern Territory Supreme Court: http://www.nt.gov.au/ntsc/

Northern Territory – Regions

Posted in Australia, Northern Territory (Australia), Northern Territory (Australia) Basics by mjoymatheson on August 14, 2008

There are four classes of local government areas in the Northern Territory:

  • Municipalities (6) – The six large centers of the territory are incorporated into municipalities, dealing with similar areas to other Australian councils, except building control and planning.
  • Community government councils (30) – Community Government councils are constituted differently from municipalities, and often take on extra functions. Some councils, due to nature of their area’s land ownership, do not charge rates on property.
  • Incorporated associations (26) – Incorporated associations provide some local government functions.
  • Special purpose towns (1) – The ‘special purpose town’ of Jabiru receives its power from the entity that constructed the town, rather than the territory’s local government legislation.

Also important to consider when looking at the regions of the Northern Territory are the land councils, established by the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act of 1976.  This act established the basis upon with Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory could, for the first time, claim rights to land based on traditional occupation.  In effect it allowed title to be transferred for most of the Aboriginal reserve lands and the opportunity to claim other land not owned, leased or being used by someone else.  The Land Councils are representative bodies with statutory authority under the Act.  There are four Land Councils in the Northern Territory, they are:

  • The Anindilyakawa Land Council, covering Groote Eylandt in the Gulf of Carpentaria.
  • The Central Land Council, covering 771,747 square kilometres in the southern half of the Northern Territory.
  • The Northern Land Council, covering the Top End.
  • The Tiwi Land Council, covering Bathurst and Melville Islands, north of Darwin

Source(s):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Local_Government_Areas_of_the_Northern_Territory
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Territory
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Territory%2C_Australia
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/419912/Northern-Territory/43514/People#tab=active~checked%2Citems~checked&title=Northern%20Territory%20%3A%3A%20People%20–%20Britannica%20Online%20Encyclopedia

Northern Territory – Administrative Structure

Posted in Australia, Northern Territory (Australia), Northern Territory (Australia) Basics by mjoymatheson on August 14, 2008

The Government of the Northern Territory is a unicameral parliament, i.e. a legislative assembly.  While the Assembly exercises roughly the same powers as the state governments of Australia, it does so by a delegation of powers from the Federal Government, rather than by any constitutional right. This means that the Federal Government is entitled to overturn any legislation passed by the Assembly.

The Northern Territory Legislative Assembly is the unicameral parliament of the Northern Territory. It sits in Parliament House, located on State Square, close to the centre of the city of Darwin.  The Legislative Assembly members are elected for four-year terms. A speaker is elected by the members of the Assembly, as are six ministers to serve on the Executive Council.

Northern Territory Executive power is exercised by the administrator (similar to a governor or chief minister), who is advised by an Executive Council consisting of the ministers of the territory.  The Administrator also appoints the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, the head of government of a self-governing territory. In normal circumstances, the Administrator will appoint the head of whatever party holds the majority of seats in the legislature of the territory.

For several years there has been agitation for the Northern Territory’s full statehood. A referendum was held on the issue in 1998, but the measure failed. This was a shock to both the Northern Territory and Commonwealth governments, for opinion polls showed most Territorians supported statehood. However, under the Australian Constitution, the Federal government sets the terms of entry to full statehood. The Northern Territory was only offered 2 Federal Senators, rather than the 12 enjoyed by other states.  They also have two representatives in the House of Representatives.

The highest court in the Northern Territory is the Supreme Court, which hears appeals from lower courts as well as original cases involving serious crimes. Magistrate courts—based in Darwin, Alice Springs, and Katherine—hear civil and criminal cases of somewhat less magnitude; they also have jurisdiction over the local courts and over various specialized courts dealing with juveniles, family issues, work health, unusual death, and other matters. The local courts, the lowest in the judicial system, hear civil cases involving debt and damages amounting to less than $100,000 (Australian).

Source(s):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_of_the_Northern_Territory
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Territory_Legislative_Assembly
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/419912/Northern-Territory/4351 /People#tab=active~checked%2Citems~checked&title=Northern%20Territory%20%3A%3A%20People%20–%20Britannica%20Online%20Encyclopedia

Northern Territory – Women/Men

Posted in Australia, Northern Territory (Australia), Northern Territory (Australia) Basics by mjoymatheson on August 14, 2008

As of June 2006, males outnumbered females in the NT with a sex ration of 108 (the number of males per 100 females).  The NT had the highest sex ratio of all the states and territories, followed by Western Australia with 102.0 males per 100 females.

Source(s):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Territory%2C_Australia
http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Latestproducts/3235.0Main%20Features102006?opendocument&tabname=Summary&prodno=3235.0&issue=2006&num=&view=

Northern Territory – Rural/Urban

Posted in Australia, Northern Territory (Australia), Northern Territory (Australia) Basics by mjoymatheson on August 14, 2008

The capital city of Northern Territory is Darwin. The population is not concentrated in coastal regions but rather along the Stuart Highway, the single paved road that links Darwin to southern Australia. The other major settlements are Katherine, Alice Springs, Tennant Creek and Nhulunbuy in the territory’s north-east. Despite the large size of the territory, roughly two-thirds of the inhabitants live in and around Darwin and Alice Springs. Away from those centers, settlement is widely dispersed and focused on a handful of mining towns, aboriginal towns, and rural service centers.

Source(s):
http://www.northernterritory.visitorsbureau.com.au/visitors_info.html#map
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Territory%2C_Australia
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/419912/Northern-Territory/43514/People#tab=active~checked%2Citems~checked&title=Northern%20Territory%20%3A%3A%20People%20–%20Britannica%20Online%20Encyclopedia

Northern Territory – Internet Access

Posted in Australia, Northern Territory (Australia), Northern Territory (Australia) Basics by mjoymatheson on August 14, 2008

55 – 58% of households in the Northern Territory have access to the Internet.  Broadband access ranges from 28 to 32%.

Source(s):
http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/8146.0.55.001Main+Features12006?OpenDocument

Northern Territory – Key Factors in Socio/Political/Economic Situation

Posted in Australia, Northern Territory (Australia), Northern Territory (Australia) Basics by mjoymatheson on August 14, 2008

At the center of Northern Territory’s current situation is its struggle to be recognized as an Australian state.  The Legislative Assembly of Northern Territory exercises roughly the same powers as the state governments of Australia, but it does so by a delegation of powers from the Federal Government, rather than by any constitutional right. This means that the Federal Government is entitled to overturn any legislation passed by the Assembly.  For several years there has been agitation for full statehood. A referendum was held on the issue in 1998, but the measure failed.

The rights and role of the Indigenous Australian population in the Northern Territory is also a key factor in understanding its socio/political/economic situation.  Historical areas of conflict/concern between Indigenous Australians and other Australians include land rights, access to education, life expectancy and general health.  Key historical events include:

  • In 1967, Australians voted “yes” to a referendum that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be counted in the national census of the population and that the Commonwealth Government should have the power to legislate for Aboriginal peoples.
  • In 1976, the Fraser Government of the Northern Territory passed the Aboriginal Land Rights Act, establishing that the Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory could, for the first time, claim rights to land based on traditional occupation. In effect, it allowed title to be transferred for most of the Aboriginal reserve lands and the opportunity to claim other land not owned, leased or being used by someone else.
  • The Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation Act was passed in 1991, creating the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation.
  • In 2007, the Northern Territory National Emergency Response was introduced.  This controversial federal intervention is a package of changes to welfare provision, law enforcement, land tenure and other measures to address Northern Territory Aboriginal communities.
  • In 2008, Australia’s Prime Minister offered of formal apology to Indigenous people who were members of the “Stolen Generations”, an estimated 50,000 children that were forcibly taken from their families between 1910 and 1970, as part of government policies of the day.

Source(s):
http://www.bluekingbrown.com/activizm_indigenous.html
http://www.reconcile.org.au
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Territory_Emergency_Response
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Territory%2C_Australia#Economy
http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/other/IndigLRes/car/2000/16/text02.htm
http://www.asiapacificforum.net/news/sorry-australia-apologises-to-its-2018stolen-generations2019.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_of_Northern_Territory

Northern Territory – GTP and Relative Socio-Economic Disadvantage

Posted in Australia, Northern Territory (Australia), Northern Territory (Australia) Basics by mjoymatheson on August 14, 2008

The gross territorial product of Northern Territory is 13,405 (in millions of Australian dollars).  The gross territorial product per capita is 63,548.  The total GTP ranks Northern Territory last among Australia’s states and territories.  However, because of their small population, the GTP per capita ranks them first.  This number can be misleading as it averages GTP and doesn’t take the disparity between rich and poor into consideration.

The Australian census 2006 rated State/Territory areas based on an “Index of Relative Socio-economic Disadvantage”, a comparison derived from Census variables like low income, low educational attainment, unemployment and dwellings without motor vehicles.  The 20 most disadvantaged areas in Australia were all in the Northern Territory (11) and Queensland (9).

Source(s):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Australian_states_by_Gross_State_Product
http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Latestproducts/2033.0.55.001Media20Release22006opendocument&tabname=Summary&prodno=2033.0.55.001&issue=2006&num=&view=