Media Release: Council announces $1.42m Katherine commitment for October Business Month

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BUILDING A BASE: Director of Corporate Governance Greg Arnott and Chief Executive Officer Michael Berto check on the progress of the $1.14 million overhaul of Roper Gulf Regional Council’s new operational base at 2 Crawford Street with contractors Darren Adam, Stuart Sheridan and Pat Hill on October 18.

BUILDING A BASE: Director of Corporate Governance Greg Arnott and Chief Executive Officer Michael Berto check on the progress of the $1.14 million overhaul of Roper Gulf Regional Council’s new operational base at 2 Crawford Street with contractors Darren Adam, Stuart Sheridan and Pat Hill on October 18.

Roper Gulf Regional Council has used the Northern Territory’s annual celebration of enterprise, October Business Month, to reaffirm its commitment to local economic sustainability by awarding almost $1.5 million in tenders to Katherine businesses.

Work began on the multi-stage redevelopment of the 2 Crawford Street earlier this month after a trades joint venture led by Katherine Constructions won the $1.14m contract to transform the old Landmark site into the Council’s new operational hub.

More than six local businesses will directly benefit from the works, which will consolidate the Council’s Katherine property footprint and play a pivotal role in the long-term strategic management of its 186,000 square kilometre Local Government Area.

Future stages of the project include the construction of a purpose-built Council chambers and training centre.

The first two stages of the multimillion-dollar refurbishment of Roper Gulf Regional Council’s 2 Crawford Street headquarters incorporate a complete redesign of internal office space as part of a project that will consolidate the organisation’s Katherine operation.

The first two stages of the multimillion-dollar refurbishment of Roper Gulf Regional Council’s 2 Crawford Street headquarters incorporate a complete redesign of internal office space as part of a project that will consolidate the organisation’s Katherine operation.

Chief Executive Officer Michael Berto inspected the site with Director of Corporate Governance Greg Arnott on October 18 and said he was pleased to see so many Katherine businesses involved with a project that would solidify the organisation’s position as one of the largest employers in the region.

“Council is responsible for delivering a multitude of services and programs across a diverse Local Government Area, so it was important that we had a base to adequately support the current and projected operational needs associated with that objective,” he explained.

“As an organisation that employs more than 70 staff in Katherine, Council believes we have a social responsibility to contribute to the growth of the town and region by supporting local business wherever possible.

“To facilitate that, Council is in the process of adopting a Buy Local Policy that incorporates specified assessment weightings in favour of businesses based in the Roper Gulf and greater Katherine regions.”

The second tender, valued at $280,000, has been awarded to eMerge IT Solutions to upgrade computer hardware in the Council’s offices in Katherine and its nine remote service delivery centres.

The hardware upgrade was funded through a $239,636 Special Purpose Grant from the NT Department of Housing and Community Development.

IT Officer Alex Macpherson watches on as Procurement Coordinator Jerry Amato congratulates eMerge IT Solutions Operations Director Kevin Grey on the Katherine business winning a $280,000 tender to upgrade computer hardware across the Roper Gulf Local Government Area.

IT Officer Alex Macpherson watches on as Procurement Coordinator Jerry Amato congratulates eMerge IT Solutions Operations Director Kevin Grey on the Katherine business winning a $280,000 tender to upgrade computer hardware across the Roper Gulf Local Government Area.

Mr Berto said the emphasis on procuring local solutions to goods and service requirements aligned with current NT Government practices that realised best value in the Council’s operational footprint and for the Territory as a whole.

“Council is part of the Katherine community, and the awarding of these two tenders to businesses that support the livelihoods of local workers represents a much-needed injection of almost $1.5m towards the sustainability of the town’s economy,” he said.

Stages one and two of the 2 Crawford Street redevelopment are scheduled to be completed by February 2018.

View the full Media Release here.

Media Release: School holiday fun as Council brings rodeo thrills and spills to Borroloola

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ROUGH RIDE: Ten-year-old Ricquelle Dixon experiences first hand the thrills and spills of the rodeo lifestyle at the Great Borroloola Cattle Workshop – presented through a partnership between Roper Gulf Regional Council and Territory Rodeo Services – during the school holidays last week.

ROUGH RIDE: Ten-year-old Ricquelle Dixon experiences first hand the thrills and spills of the rodeo lifestyle at the Great Borroloola Cattle Workshop – presented through a partnership between Roper Gulf Regional Council and Territory Rodeo Services – during the school holidays last week.

Kids, cattle and dust flew as lifelong loves of rodeo were solidified during a school holiday workshop Roper Gulf Regional Council’s Youth Reconnect team held in Borroloola last week.

As part of its youth engagement strategy in the isolated town, 660 kilometres south-east of Katherine, the Council partnered with Territory Rodeo Services (TRS) to deliver the Great Borroloola Cattle Workshop, which comprised three two-day sessions for participants up to the age of 24.

With more than 60 youth learning about cattle handling and riding techniques, the workshop became a whole-of-community event as family members took up positions around the arena to throw their support behind participants.

The workshop included a range of lessons and games designed to entertain participants as they learnt the skills needed to compete at rodeos and ultimately seek employment in the Northern Territory cattle industry.

Devendro Johnson, 7, bursts out of the chute with a little bit of assistance.

Devendro Johnson, 7, bursts out of the chute with a little bit of assistance.

The variety of fun activities was appreciated by some of the younger participants, many of whom have family members who are well-known names on the NT rodeo circuit.

“It was a lot of fun,” 12-year-old Sonny Dixon said.

“We were riding calves and horses, and learning how to balance when riding.”

Borroloola Youth Services Coordinator Ilan Bermeister explained that the inclusive nature of the workshop allowed participants to learn in an environment they felt completely comfortable in.

“The kids have come out in great numbers, even supporting the other age groups when they were participating,” he said.

“The atmosphere has been vibrant, colourful and enthusiastic, and the youth were respectful and showed great aptitude and attitude.

“I am amazed at how brave these kids are to participate in the sport of rodeo, and the young boys and girls of Borroloola have again proved that the future of this town is a bright one.”

TRS owner Tara Craigie praised participants and said the Borroloola region had a proud tradition of producing top-level stockmen and rodeo riders.

“We are honoured for the opportunity to work with the younger generation to inspire them to follow in the footsteps of the men and women before them,” she said.

Borroloola youth Lawrence Johnston, 8, Quartaya Miller, 7, and Rickeisha Rory, 7, discuss the finer points of horsemanship in the middle of the town’s rodeo arena during the Great Borroloola Cattle Workshop.

Borroloola youth Lawrence Johnston, 8, Quartaya Miller, 7, and Rickeisha Rory, 7, discuss the finer points of horsemanship in the middle of the town’s rodeo arena during the Great Borroloola Cattle Workshop.

Director of Council and Community Services Sharon Hillen said the workshop was further evidence of what could be achieved in remote towns like Borroloola when stakeholders collaborated to deliver programs and services that boosted the liveability of the Roper Gulf region.

“Council is committed to supporting remote training and employment opportunities, and the sustainability of towns in its Local Government Area as part of its strategic objectives,” she explained.

“For these goals to be achieved, all stakeholders need to be working together harmoniously towards a common vision that benefits the people who call our communities home.

“This event is an example of that collaboration, and Council is proud to have led a diverse group of stakeholders from Borroloola and further afield to make it an overwhelming success that was embraced by the youth who participated in it.”

The event was sponsored by the Northern Territory Government as part of its Alcohol Action Initiatives.

View the full Media Release here.

Tell Council your vision for the future of Mataranka

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HAVE YOUR SAY: Is preserving Mataranka's history important to you as a resident? Share your vision for the township as part of the development of the Roper Gulf Regional Council Mataranka Master Plan.

HAVE YOUR SAY: Is preserving Mataranka’s history important to you as a resident? Share your vision for the township as part of the development of the Roper Gulf Regional Council Mataranka Master Plan.

As part of the development of Roper Gulf Regional Council’s master plan for Mataranka, residents, business owners and other stakeholders are being asked to take a 10-minute survey to outline what is important to them and what they want the Mataranka of the future to look like.

A public meeting will be held at the Mataranka Community Hall on October 11, 2017 at 6pm to consult with the community about the master planning process, and to determine what the focus of long-term development should be to make township socially and economically sustainable. During the meeting, Council staff will also meet with users of the Mataranka Sport and Recreation Grounds to explain planned infrastructure upgrades.

For more information about the meeting, please call the Director of Council and Community Services on 08 8972 8310 or email roper.governance@ropergulf.nt.gov.au.

Click here to begin the Mataranka Master Plan Questionnaire.

Media Release: Council contract sets up Indigenous-owned NT business for staff expansion

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PARTNERING GROWTH: Practical Safety Australia Indigenous trainees Cambell May and Peter Devery, who have been employed on the back of a three-year supply contract with Roper Gulf Regional Council, check out some personal protective equipment with business owner Lance Martin and the Council’s Procurement Coordinator, Jerry Amato, during a site tour on September 27.

PARTNERING GROWTH: Practical Safety Australia Indigenous trainees Cambell May and Peter Devery, who have been employed on the back of a three-year supply contract with Roper Gulf Regional Council, check out some personal protective equipment with business owner Lance Martin and the Council’s Procurement Coordinator, Jerry Amato, during a site tour on September 27.

A commitment by Roper Gulf Regional Council to Northern Territory businesses has allowed one Indigenous-owned enterprise to boost its employment by 40 per cent on the back of a three-year supply contract awarded this month.

Practical Safety Australia (PSA) has been engaged to supply the Council with personal protective and first aid equipment, and safety signage until 2020 in a deal with an estimated value of $500,000.

Securing the tender has also provided the Darwin-based business with an opportunity to employ two Indigenous trainees in a move director Lance Martin said would create a revenue stream to deliver a structured career pathway for the pair.

“On the strength of this contract, we have already placed two Indigenous trainees into the company as stores and warehouse people, with a view to upskilling them with first the basics, such as fork lift operations, warehouse safety and stock control, to be followed up with computer training, warehouse management and wherever that leads to,” he explained.

“We are excited that we have the opportunity to make a real difference to young people’s lives, and to have them as part of our continual growth and improvement program.”

Mr Martin praised the Council for its focus on helping to develop Indigenous-owned NT businesses and said he hoped other organisations followed its example.

“It is critical for Northern Territory companies to receive the support of both local companies and those companies that come to the various regions to fill gaps in skill shortages for the larger contracts,” he said.

“The simple reason for this is that it enables the growth of the Indigenous workforce and begins the upward cycle of creating higher-skilled Indigenous workers who can then pass on their knowledge to their peers, thus developing a pool of skilled individuals.”

Practical Safety Australia’s Cindy Salinas and Lance Martin explain the embroidery process to Roper Gulf Regional Council Procurement Coordinator Jerry Amato after the Indigenous-owned business won a tender to supply all of the Council’s personal protective and first aid equipment, and safety signage until 2020.

Practical Safety Australia’s Cindy Salinas and Lance Martin explain the embroidery process to Roper Gulf Regional Council Procurement Coordinator Jerry Amato after the Indigenous-owned business won a tender to supply all of the Council’s personal protective and first aid equipment, and safety signage until 2020.

Staff from the Council’s Procurement and Work, Health and Safety units travelled to Darwin on September 27 to meet the PSA team and witness first-hand how the commercial partnership would benefit both parties.

Council Chief Executive Officer Michael Berto said an emphasis on utilising local NT businesses aligned with the organisation’s strategic goal of supporting training, employment and economic development.

“It may not be viewed as a traditional role of Local Government, but Council is committed to the big picture of delivering sustainable, vibrant communities across the Roper Gulf region and NT as a whole,” he said.

“Part of that centres on providing Indigenous employment opportunities and fostering economic development strategies for businesses based in the Territory.

“With an annual operating budget of almost $40 million, Council has the responsibility and financial capacity to be a leader in this area, and it is great to see our focus having a real impact on the growth of operations like Practical Safety Australia.”

View the full Media Release here.