People have asked me why I want to do a second term as Lord Mayor. The answer is simple, I love this community and I believe there is so much more to do.
When I came into Council in 2012 I had a lot to learn about the workings of the body corporate that is the City of Darwin. We established a clear vision for the CBD with the City Centre Masterplan and now we are working on the projects to deliver that vision.
Council is responsible for so much more than the CBD. We have the whole city to consider from Muirhead, to Berrimah, from Nightcliff to Bayview.
There are some wonderful opportunities to improve the life of our whole community through projects such as place making in Bradshaw Terrace which could create an urban piazza, dealing proactively with speeding in our suburban streets, and ensuring virtual connections of our shared path network.
The thing I love the most about this community is how well we accept newcomers, how well we live together in relative harmony. As Darwin grows, we need to hold onto that characteristic. Working closely with the multicultural societies, establishing opportunities to celebrate our uniqueness like Ozfusion on Australia Day, supporting migrants through our libraries, and supporting community events, all assist in reinforcing our community connections. And that is very important.
I have always been a believer in the value of role models and of positive talk.
As Lord Mayor I have tried to provide a positive role model as both a woman in a leadership role and a community leader. This I believe is a very important aspect of the job, offering an example of stable, professional leadership.
Similarly positive talk costs nothing and yet it can help forge better understanding and a more tolerant society.
Nothing is gained by focussing on the negative.
Focussing on the positive however has benefits within the community. For example, if you always talk about the cost of parking, people will start automatically focussing on that as a significant problem and yet, there are plenty of free parking options in the city and if you compare us to other capital cities, the cost of parking is relatively low.
Paid parking on the street was introduced as a mechanism to control parking in the city and it works. You can usually get a car park on the street in the city, when you want one. It has an added benefit of providing Council with income that means less dependence on rates income. Now that is a positive story.
So why a second term?
I have a vision of a thriving, modern, cosmopolitan city that is a place people choose to come to and they choose to stay because they love it as much as I do – that city is Darwin.
In addition to the work already taking place, I plan to lobby for:
- Free classes in responsible dog ownership and basic puppy training classes with every new registration.
- Implement regular dog patrols where problem spots are identified.
- Public charge points for hybrid and electric cars – the future of transport.
- Installation of smart LED street lights to provide increased safety and an increased CCTV presence where needed.
- Expand free WiFi services throughout the suburbs.
- A speed mitigation program for suburbs where the need is identified.
- A working local artists centre showcasing not just our Aboriginal cultural heritage, but also the wonderfully unique and inspiring artistic talent which exists in Darwin.
- Regular community forums in each Council ward to consult directly with residents.
- Increasd litter patrols and working with Keep Australia Beautiful NT to help keep our community litter free.
- Developing incentives to upgrade exteriors of business properties as part of Council’s Vibrant City agenda.
- Establishment of walking and heritage trails to tell the Darwin story.
- Free after 3pm parking in the CBD.
- Exploring ways to strengthen Council’s Buy Local procurement strategy to ensure local business is our first choice for services.
I’d be honoured if you would vote for me as your Lord Mayor.