Creating best-practice landfills in central Australia remote Aboriginal communities

The Central Desert Regional Council in the Northern Territory has demonstrated the on-the-ground benefits of local governments working together to make effective service delivery a priority through a recent project on upgrading participating waste disposal sites.

Despite a limited budget and many practical obstacles, the project greatly improved waste management, resulting in direct and ongoing positive results for local communities. Key achievements of the project included improved safety, less poisons and asbestos exposure, reduced need for new pits and equipment repair and maintenance, and cleaner and safer communities which are better serviced by waste management facilities.

They are now spending less on pits and machine replacement and maintenance, freeing up funds to install the park and sporting facility infrastructure that residents value.

Three neighbouring councils were involved in the project – Central Desert Regional Council, MacDonnell Regional Council and Barkly Regional Council – along with the Local Government Association of the Northern Territory and the Northern Territory Health Department.

The project was awarded a National Local Government Award in the Boosting Productivity through Infrastructure category. The project’s collaborative approach to solving problems in small communities has proved highly successful and is leading to other partnerships.

More information is available in the 2015 Winners Book on the National Awards for Local Government website.