Tiwi visit welcomed

Article image - Tiwi visit welcomed West Arnhem Regional Council Mayor Lothar Siebert and Deputy Mayor James Marrawal (left and right, in dark blue) with Tiwi Islands Regional Council delegation (left to right) Cr Lesley Tungatalum, Mayor Lynette De Santis, Chief Executive Officer Alan Hudson and Cr Anita Moreen.

West Arnhem Regional Council (WARC) and the Tiwi Islands Regional Council (TIRC) have announced steps towards a new partnership.

Mayor Lothar Siebert invited the TIRC Mayor and Councillors to attend an Ordinary Council Meeting at the WARC Chambers in Jabiru during September. TIRC Mayor Lynette De Santis, Councillors Anita Moreen and Lesley Tungatalum, and Chief Executive Officer Alan Hudson attended the meeting.
Mayor Siebert said the meeting had been “a step in the right direction”.

“This meeting was a chance to put into place a more formalised arrangement in which to share ideas that will benefit both regional councils further down the line.

“I can see a lot of potential in us working on regional issues together.”

Speaking after the meeting, TIRC Mayor Lynnette De Santis thanked the Mayor, Councillors and Chief Executive of West Arnhem for extending the invitation. She said she felt ‘a lot more empowered’ after participating in the meeting and looked forward to reciprocating the arrangement.

Both West Arnhem and the Tiwi Islands form part of the Northern Territory Electoral Division of Arafura, with Cobourg Peninsula lying adjacent to the Tiwi Islands on the Van Diemen Gulf.

Situated 100 km north of Darwin, the Tiwi Islands are comprised of Melville Island and Bathurst Island, with a combined area of 8320 square kilometres.

Creation stories suggest Indigenous Australians have occupied these islands for at least 7000 years.

In a formal letter of thanks to the council, Chief Executive Officer Alan Hudson said it would be ‘advantageous to keep this initiative on the move’.

“It was especially gratifying to share an insight into not only issues you face within your region but to be able to confirm that there are many issues where we could all benefit by concerted cooperation and acting cohesively as a body of more than a lone council.”