Elections and leadership training in the Territory - Presidentís comment

Article image - Elections and leadership training in the Territory - Presidentís comment Damien Ryan, President of the Local Government Association of the Northern Territory

Council elections were held in the Northern Territory on 26 August for 16 of the 17 councils and, as with elections generally, produced some interesting results.  

The Northern Territory Electoral Commission received nominations for all 149 positions that were available to be contested with the following summary election results being achieved:

  • 67 per cent of councillors are male and 33 per cent female
  • 60 per cent are Indigenous
  • 50 per cent are newly elected
  • 63 per cent of those on the electoral roll voted  


In terms of the Lord Mayor, Mayor or President (principal member) positions:

  • 68 per cent of those elected are male and 32 per cent are female
  • 50 per cent are newly elected.


While the voter turnout was disappointing the case for pursuing electronic voting and electoral or civics education is mounting and is probably something that needs to be addressed across Australia.  We have to find ways of connecting better with our youth in particular.
On 5 and 6 October the Local Government Association of the Northern Territory (LGANT) facilitated a training symposium (with assistance from the Department of Housing and Community Services) for Mayors, Presidents, Deputies and Chief Executive Officers.

The symposium had a focus on leadership and included sessions on intergovernmental relations, legislation and compliance, Mayor and CEO relationships, conflict resolution, respecting culture in decision making, lobbying and community relationships and risk management.  The sessions were presented by: The Hon Gerry McCarthy MLA, Northern Territory Minister for Housing and Community Services; Mayor David O’Loughlin, President of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA); Dr Felicity-ann Lewis, Lecturer, Flinders University SA and former ALGA President; Wendy Campana, Commissioner, Kangaroo Island and former Chief Executive of the Local Government Association of South Australia; Allan McGill, local government consultant and former Chief Executive of the City of Darwin; Greg Hoffman, local government consultant and former Director Advocacy, Local Government Association of Queensland; Lee Williams, Executive Director, Department of Housing and Community Services; Marion Scrymgour, Chief Executive, Tiwi Islands Regional Council; Tony Brown, Executive Manager, Governance and Strategy, Western Australian Local Government Association; James Sheridan, Manager, Jardine Lloyd Thompson; Allan Adams, Managing Director, Beyond IQ; and Kirsty Nancarrow, Director, Regional Media Training.  

All participants were very positive about the symposium and LGANT will examine ways to develop further sessions in the future.