Media Release: $1.5m sports facility to support youth activities in Borroloola

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BORROLOOLA BENEFIT: Looking over the plans for the new $1.5 million sporting facility in Borroloola are McArthur River Mine General Manager Sam Strohmayr, Roper Gulf Regional Council Councillor Don Gardner, Mayor Judy MacFarlane, Councillor Keith Rory, Northern Territory Government Trust Director Jake Quinlivan, and Councillor and MRM Community Benefits Trust Board Director Samuel Evans.

BORROLOOLA BENEFIT: Looking over the plans for the new $1.5 million sporting facility in Borroloola are McArthur River Mine General Manager Sam Strohmayr, Roper Gulf Regional Council Councillor Don Gardner, Mayor Judy MacFarlane, Councillor Keith Rory, Northern Territory Government Trust Director Jake Quinlivan, and Councillor and MRM Community Benefits Trust Board Director Samuel Evans.

A $1.5 million sporting facility will be built in Borroloola with a grant from the McArthur River Mine (MRM) Community Benefits Trust.

Built on the site of the old town basketball courts, the new facility will include covered multipurpose sports courts, seating, lighting, electronic scoreboard, car parking and pedestrian access.

Roper Gulf Regional Council applied for the funding to provide a much-needed facility for youth in Borroloola.

It is the largest single grant ever awarded by the MRM Community Benefits Trust.

MRM Community Benefits Trust Chair Greg Ashe said the provision of facilities for youth in Borroloola was a consistent need identified in Trust community consultations.

“We know there is a big need for a facility such as this to engage young people in healthy activities,” Mr Ashe said.

“This is a perfect example of how the Community Benefits Trust can make a difference to the lives of people in Borroloola and the Gulf region.”

Roper Gulf Regional Council Mayor Judy MacFarlane thanked McArthur River Mine for its contribution to the betterment of Borroloola, adding that delivering infrastructure that met community expectation required a strong partnership between Local Government, residents and key stakeholders like MRM.

“Borroloola has been identified as one of the fastest-growing towns in the 186,000 square kilometre Roper Gulf Local Government Area,” Mayor MacFarlane said.

“To ensure the wants of residents are met, Council needs to form solidified relationships with funding partners who have a vested interest in the social and economic development of the town, whether that is a Government entity or an enterprise like McArthur River Mine.

“The youth here are the future of Borroloola, so I thank MRM for having the long-term vision and commitment to provide the funding needed, through its Community Benefits Trust, for Council to build infrastructure that will promote health and physical activity in this town.”

McArthur River Mine General Manager Sam Strohmayr, Roper Gulf Regional Council Councillor and MRM Community Benefits Trust Board Director Samuel Evans, and Mayor Judy MacFarlane celebrate the announcement of the $1.5 million grant.

McArthur River Mine General Manager Sam Strohmayr, Roper Gulf Regional Council Councillor and MRM Community Benefits Trust Board Director Samuel Evans, and Mayor Judy MacFarlane celebrate the announcement of the $1.5 million grant.

The grant comes as the Trust celebrates 10 years of operations as a joint initiative of McArthur River Mining, the Northern Territory Government and the local community.

Over this time, the Trust has contributed $14.8 million to 83 separate programs.

Northern Territory Government representative on the Trust board Jake Quinlivan said he was pleased the Trust was able to fast track the project given its importance to Borroloola.

“From the funding application being considered by the board to reaching an agreement with Roper Gulf, the process has taken a matter of weeks – that’s great news for the community,” he said.

Construction is expected to begin early in the new year.

View the full Media Release here.

Media Release: Carers Week 2017 shines spotlight on Council aged care success

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ARTISTIC ENDEAVOURS: Beswick Commonwealth Home Support Program client Norman Lane gives Roper Gulf Regional Council Community Services Regional Manager Annalisa Bowden some artistic advice during Carers Week 2017.

ARTISTIC ENDEAVOURS: Beswick Commonwealth Home Support Program client Norman Lane gives Roper Gulf Regional Council Community Services Regional Manager Annalisa Bowden some artistic advice during Carers Week 2017.

The chorus of laughter emanating from the aged, smiling faces around the table provides unquantifiable-yet-irrefutable proof of the success Roper Gulf Regional Council is having in providing aged care and disability support services to clients in some of the remotest parts of the Top End.

The source of the chortling are Beswick residents Barry Weston, Norman Lane, Tony Johnson and Tom Kelly, who are regaling Council staff with stories about their formative years, which included working with heavy machinery during the development of the area and as stockmen on Beswick Station.

Two weeks ago, two of the men were living in a derelict building in the community, located 110 kilometres east of Katherine, while the other two were staying with family in overcrowded premises.

The quartet is now renting units in a Council-owned property, and receiving daily meals and assistance through the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP).

The Council provides CHSP services to clients in six communities across the Roper Gulf region on behalf of the Federal Government as part of a larger suite of aged care and disability services.

Mr Weston said the move from the dilapidated single men’s quarters to his new unit – which is outside the community’s flood zone – represented a life change he struggled to put into words.

“It’s a lot better than that other place we were in,” he explained during an October 20 barbecue to celebrate Carers Week 2017.

“Down there was not safe and too noisy; this place is quiet for us old fellas.”

In addition to improving safety and quality of life, the move has paved the way for the men to undertake regular recreational projects.

“We’re looking forward to doing outings and fishing, and we’re gonna clean up a space in the yard to put in veggies,” Mr Weston said.

“Then, we’ll have fresh veggies for us and people who want them.”

Community Services Officer Revonna Urban and Community Services Regional Manager Annalisa Bowden take time out during a Carers Week 2017 barbecue in Beswick to speak to Commonwealth Home Support Program clients Tom Kelly, Barry Weston, Norman Lane and Tony Johnson.

Community Services Officer Revonna Urban and Community Services Regional Manager Annalisa Bowden take time out during a Carers Week 2017 barbecue in Beswick to speak to Commonwealth Home Support Program clients Tom Kelly, Barry Weston, Norman Lane and Tony Johnson.

The Council used Carers Week 2017 to showcase the benefits of its diverse range of aged care and disability services, including providing training and employment opportunities for local people.

Revonna Urban is the Council’s Community Services Officer in Beswick and said helping the older generation of residents provided her with a sense of accomplishment.

“Looking after these old people makes me feel good,” she said.

“They are all my family, so I’m glad I can work for Council and help make sure they are taken care of.”

Community Services Regional Manager Annalisa Bowden travelled to Beswick for the barbecue and said positive outcomes like the relocation of the men were at the core of the Council’s strategic direction.

“Council’s mission is to work as one towards a better future, and this great result in Beswick is proof of that,” she explained.

“That we are able to provide tailored support that lets ageing clients remain in their own home is one thing, but the delivery of our aged care and disability services is also contributing to an increase in upskilling and job opportunities for people living in remote communities within the Roper Gulf Local Government Area.”

View the full Media Release here.

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.