Fourth city confirmed for Northern Territory

Northern Territory Chief Minister, Paul Henderson, has announced that Alice Springs, Darwin, and the satellite city of Palmerston will be joined by a fourth Territory City by 2014.

The State Government has allocated $750 million to prepare land in Weddell for development, through infrastructure such as arterial roads, power, water and sewerage truck services.

It is hoped that these developments will generate additional private investment of at least several billion dollars.

Located around 15 kilometres south of Palmerston in the Shire of Litchfield, the City of Weddell will address Darwin’s growing population, which is projected to rise by 34 per cent by 2021, and 55 per cent by 2030.

Speaking to an audience of business and community leaders in Darwin in February, the Chief Minister said an estimated 10,000 blocks of land, catering for a population of some 40,000 people would make up the new satellite city.

“Planning for the development of the site is now underway, with the first blocks likely to be ready in five years,” he said.

“This will follow the development of four more suburbs in Palmerston and the new suburb of Muirhead in Darwin.

“The new city will have environmental considerations built in to transport and recycling, and anywhere else it can reduce its carbon footprint.

“Of course it will also need services and infrastructure like schools, shops, electricity, parks, sporting grounds and roads, and the challenge of providing for these will be part of our vital planning work into the future.”

The Chief Minister said the Territory Government could not afford to delay the planning, with this sort of growth equating to around 1,700 new houses per year, schools to service more than 7,000 new students, and approximately 430 additional teachers.

The growth will also require an additional 172 police, 293 nurses, 54 doctors and an extra 121 hospital beds.

“While there is no doubt that the global financial crisis will impact on the Territory, nowhere else in Australia is looking forward to growth and expansion like the Territory,” Paul Henderson said.

“This Government is planning today to meet those needs.”

Litchfield Shire President, Mary Walshe, said Council is extremely happy and enthusiastic about the new city.

“Councillors are extremely positive and noted that the Litchfield municipality would finally have its dreams realised for long awaited and required infrastructure, such as more housing, shops, industrial hubs, schools, sporting grounds, a swimming pool, City Civic Centre and a range of services and infrastructure within the rural boundaries of Litchfield,” Councillor Walshe said.

“As soon as I heard the news that the Chief Minister had announced the plan for the City of Weddell to go ahead, I took a drive along Finn Road and looked over the land where the city will be situated.

“While it might appear to be virgin bush land at present, all I needed was a bit of imagination to see the area as a bustling and innovative city that will serve as a hub for the residents of Weddell and the wider rural areas of Darwin.”