Councillor profiles - Andrew Turner Councillor Coomalie Community Government Shire

Article image - Councillor profiles - Andrew Turner Councillor Coomalie Community Government Shire

The Coomalie Region of the Northern Territory (NT) is part of the greater Darwin Region. We govern an area of 2,056 sq km and we have an estimated population of 1318.

Our Council area includes the localities of Batchelor, Adelaide River and Lake Bennett. The boundary of this area extends from the Manton Dam in the north, to the town of Adelaide River in the south and east from the Adelaide River, to the Litchfield National Park in the west.

The industry base of the Coomalie Region is increasing in its diversity, having moved from a heavy reliance on the pastoral and mining sectors to now include tourism, education and horticulture as major sectors of our local economy.  

The people of Coomalie Shire are unique. Their characters, the experience they hold, and the willingness to help each other are aspects that I truly admire. The environment of the Top End of the Northern Territory is also so special – and the Coomalie region is every bit as special. We are close to so many great places – whether its waterfalls, great views, fishing spots, or productive farms, Coomalie has it.

Bushfires NT and voluntary work
I first was elected to Council in early 2006 and have been proud to be a member of Council since that time. As well as my Council duties, I work as the Director of Operations for Bushfires NT, the rural land and fire management organisation for about 98 percent of the Northern Territory. I work with a relatively small team across much of the Territory, and the role involves a lot of interaction with land holders and especially emergency service volunteers. It is a busy time at the moment with the current fire season.

Outside of work, I keep busy with my family, but also volunteer time with Variety NT (the Children’s Charity), and Volunteering South Australia and Northern Territory (SA&NT), as a Board member of both organisations. All three are passions of mine.

Challenges and projects
The challenges facing Council are always changing and developing, but waste management is probably the most pressing of our focuses at present. An innovative project we are currently focused on is the future of neighbouring land adjoining our Council area, which is not currently incorporated in any local government model.

My favourite aspect of being on Council is being able to work with some of the great folk. This includes the staff, the many volunteers at Council, and the councillors. In terms of successes, I always have a good feeling when our Council has a robust discussion and agrees with a way forward. It is great to have consensus on issues.

A challenge I still struggle with is the lack of interest and lack of understanding that a few individuals have about the place and role of local government.

Looking ahead to the future, I want to play a part in ensuring that our focus at Council remains strategic in nature and that residents are well represented.