The Litchfield Council is a local government area of the Northern Territory of Australia on the eastern and southeastern outskirts of the Darwin-Palmerston urban area.
- Area:107.346 km2
- Elevation:120 m
- Local Government Area:Buloke Shire Council
The Litchfield Council is a local government area of the Northern Territory of Australia on the eastern and southeastern outskirts of the Darwin-Palmerston urban area. The municipality covers an area of 2,903 square kilometres (1,120.9 sq mi), and was created by the Northern Territory government on 6 September 1985.
The original inhabitants of the Litchfield area were the Larrakia, Woolner and Djowei Aboriginal people. The arrival of European settlers dates from 1864. Litchfield is named after Frederick Henry Litchfield who with William Patrick Auld was a member of an early survey and settlement party and who explored areas of the Northern Territory from Escape Cliffs in Van Diemen Gulf to the Daly River. Some growth took place during the 1870s and 1880s, after the construction of the Overland Telegraph Line. There was more substantial growth during the post-war years, especially during the 1970s.
The Litchfield Shire was proclaimed by an Act of the NT Parliament on 6 September 1985. On 7 December 1985 an election was held to elect the first Council composed of a Shire President and four Councillors each representing a ward – North, South, East and Central.
This first elected body formulated a series of objectives under which Council was to operate. The objectives were based upon the provision of services in what is traditionally known as the 3Rs (Roads, Rubbish and Recreation) and on the principle of contracting out the provision of these services. The level of services under these functions were to be commensurate with a philosophy of low rates.
In 2008 Litchfield Shire removed Shire in its name due to the new Local Government Act 2008, which saw changes in the structure of local government across the Northern Territory.
In 2015 the entire Litchfield council and mayor Allan McKay was sacked by then NT Local Government Minister Bess Price amid allegations of bullying, misuse of funds and budget blow-outs. Allan McKay while serving as mayor had previously received a no-entry order and had been banned from council property after being accused of harassing council staff and fellow councilors.In the subsequent election in November 2015, former local primary school principal Maree Bredhauer was elected as Mayor out of a field of eight candidates.Consistent with its legislative requirements under the Local Government Act 2008, Council undertook an electoral review in May/June 2020, with a formal recommendation put forward to the Minister for Local Government, Housing and Community Development, for the Litchfield Council area to be divided into three (3) wards, North, South, and Central. These new boundaries came into effect on 16 July 2021.
A new Mayor, Doug Barden, was elected in the 2021 general election held in August.
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