Engaging with local authorities

This page has information for NT government agencies who want to engage with local authorities. It also has information for regional councils and local authorities seeking information from NT government agencies.

Local authorities are the preferred consultation body of the Northern Territory (NT) government in remote communities. 

Local authorities in the Northern Territory

There are 63 local authorities across regional and remote communities in the NT. They are involved in planning, giving feedback on service delivery and identifying priority community projects.

Regional councils operate local authorities. There are nine regional councils in the NT which cover most of the Territory's remote communities.

Go to the Northern Territory Government website to find out more about regional councils and local authorities.

For government agencies: help to engage with local authorities

Your agency can contact the Local Authority Coordination Unit for help planning engagement activities with local authorities, such as attending or arranging meetings.

Request to attend a meeting of a local authority

To attend a local authority meeting, regional councils prefer that your agency follows these steps: 

Step 1. Phone the Local Authority Coordination Unit on (08) 8924 3644 to discuss your plans.

Step 2. Fill in the request to attend a local authority meeting form (45.0 kb) and email it to local.authorities@nt.gov.au.

When you submit your request, your agency should provide the following:

  • actions or recommendations you are expecting of the local authority
  • communications materials you have planned
  • relevant time frames
  • equipment requirements
  • the number of visitors attending.

The unit can also connect your agency with other travellers, and give local advice about travel and interpreters.

Find out how the unit manages requests by reading the Local Authority Coordination Processes Information Paper (223.6 kb).

Request a special meeting with a local authority

If your agency’s time frames do not fit with local authority meetings, your agency can request a special meeting with a local authority.

The regional council may ask your agency to cover the costs, subject to negotiation, of convening the meeting, including member sitting fees and other meeting costs.

Contact the Local Authority Coordination Unit to request a special meeting with your local authority.

Contact the Local Authority Coordination Unit 

The Local Authority Coordination Unit is part of the department.

Phone: (08) 8924 3644

Email: local.authorities@nt.gov.au

For regional councils and local authorities: request information

Your local authority or regional council can request information about service delivery by an NT government agency that is of ongoing community interest, or to answer systemic concerns of a community.

Your local authority or regional council cannot make a request on behalf of an individual.

Making an information request will not resolve any operational problems your local authority or regional council may have with an agency. Contact the relevant agency or service provider directly about operational matters.

How to request information from NT government agencies

To make a request, fill in the request for information from the NT government (44.9 kb) form.

There are two options to submit requests.

  1. Your regional council or local authority can email the form to local.authorities@nt.gov.au.
  2. Your regional council or local authority can ask the regional department employee attending the meeting to submit the request on your behalf.

When you make your request, your local authority or regional council should provide the following:

  • the background context to the request
  • any time frames
  • if you want a written response or a presentation.

Find out more about making a request by reading the Local Authority Coordination Processes Information Paper (223.6 kb).

Contact a department regional office

Regional office and regional manager contact details Regional council Local authorities
Barkly Regional Office, Tennant Creek
Phone: (08) 8962 4380 or (08) 8962 4387
Barkly Ali Curung, Alpurrurulam Ampilatwatja, Arlparra, Elliott, Tennant Creek, Wutunugurra
Arnhem Regional Office, Nhulunbuy
Phone: (08) 8987 0538 or (08) 8987 0538
East Arnhem Angurugu, Galiwinku, Gapuwiyak, Gunyangara Milingimbi, Milyakburra, Ramingining, Umbakumba, Yirrkala
Central Australia Regional Office, Alice Springs
Phone: (08) 8951 5616 or (08) 8951 5600
Central Desert Anmatjere, Atitjere, Engawala, Lajamanu Laramba, Nyirripi Willowra, Yuelamu, Yuendumu
MacDonnell Amoonguna, Areyonga, Finke, Haasts Bluff, Imanpa, Kaltukatjara, Kintore, Mt Liebig, Ntaria, Papunya, Santa Teresa, Titjikala, Wallace Rockhole
Big Rivers Regional Office, Katherine
Phone: (08) 8973 8410 or (08) 8973 8102
Roper Gulf Barunga, Beswick, Borroloola Bulman, Hodgson Downs, Jilkminggan, Manyallaluk Mataranka, Ngukurr, Numbulwar
Victoria Daly Kalkarindji, Daly River, Pine Creek, Timber Creek, Yarralin
West Daly Palumpa, Peppimenarti, Wadeye
Arafura Region, based in Darwin Office
Phone: (08) 8999 8417 or (08) 8999 8351
Tiwi Islands Milikapiti, Pirlangimpi, Wurrumiyanga
West Arnhem Gunbalanya, Maningrida, Minjilang, Warruwi

Policy for working with local authorities

The NT government is working to improve engagement with local authorities and regional councils. Read the Empowering Local Authorities Policy Framework (182.9 kb).

The policy includes the following:

  • processes for local authorities and regional councils to request information from NT government agencies about service delivery
  • better planning and coordination by NT government agencies when visiting local authorities
  • more support to regional councils to help coordinate local authorities
  • assistance to NT government agencies and regional councils to develop engagement strategies to support local authorities.

For information about how the policy is being implemented, read Local Authority Coordination Processes Information Paper (223.6 kb).

The department's approach to engaging with local authorities also supports the Remote Engagement and Coordination Strategy, a resource to help government and other organisations to engage effectively in the bush.

Last updated: 21 September 2017