Northern Territory Minister for Local Government, Chansey Paech, has today placed the Barkly Regional Council under official management, with all elected members suspended from office.
In a statement, the Minister said he was satisfied there are, or may be, serious deficiencies in the conduct of the Council’s affairs.
“Official management will ensure the continuance of governance at the Barkly Regional Council; and establish its position in regards to its fiscal management and service delivery obligations,” said Minister Paech.
“I acknowledge the remoteness of communities served by the Barkly Regional Council provides unique geographic and demographic challenges, but it is imperative that the Council is able to operate effectively so residents receive the services they need and deserve.
“My decision today paves the way for better-functioning services across communities and a more stable future for the people of the Barkly region.”
Peter Holt has been appointed Official Manager and now holds the powers of the elected members to ensure the business of Council continues without interruption, the Minister announced.
Ruth Morley has been appointed as Investigator to examine the affairs of the Council and will report her findings to the Minister by 12 March 2024.
During the period Council is under official management, elected members will not be able to conduct any official Council business, and all allowances and other entitlements will cease, the Minister said. He said the process will not affect staff members.
The Barkly Regional Council serves around 8,000 constituents spanning approximately 325,000 square kilometres from Newcastle Waters in the north to Tara in the south.
Tennant Creek is the regional centre of the local government area, which also includes Arlparra, Ampilatwatja, Ali Curung, Alpurrurulam, Wutunugurra, and Elliott.