The Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku is located
in the Great Victoria and Gibson Desert.
Here is a map of our Shire
There are 10 Aboriginal Communities in the Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku
Warburton; Tjirrkarli; Jameson; Blackstone; Wingellina; Warakurna; Tjukurla; Wanarn; Patjarr; Kanpa
You can view them on the map below and if you want to learn more, click here to go and discover more!
Some communities also have aboriginal names:
Blackstone - Papulankatja
Jameson - Mantamaru
Patjarr - Karilwara
Warburton - Milyirrtjarra
Wingellina - Irrunytju
The Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku was formed on the 1st July 1993 from the Shire of Wiluna being spilt into two areas. The west side remaining the Shire of Wiluna and east side became the Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku.
The Name Ngaanyatjarraku comes from the Aboriginal lands it serves. The people of this district are Ngaanyatjarra people and the language spoken is "Ngaanyatjarra". "Ku" means in Ngaanyatjarra to belong. The Shire belongs to the Ngaanyatjarra people.
The Shire's logo is a footprint. The shape on the right of the path is a boomerang. The toes of the footprint symbolise the sun rising over the desert. The centre of the symbol is a pathway.
Australia has 3 levels of Government:
Decides on matters that affect the whole of Australia.
Responsible for Education, Main Roads, Railways and Public Housing within each State.
Which is much closer to the people and looks after matters affecting the local community such as building and maintaining roads, footpaths, bridges and parks, making laws to do with building and health, and providing services that the citizens want like swimming pools and libraries.
Why is this Local Government a Shire and not a City or Town?
A local Government district can only be called a "City" if the district is in the metropolitan area and has more than 30,000 people that live in the urban area or if the district is not in the Metropolitan area it must have more than 20,000 people and that more than half live in the urban area.
A Local Government district can only be called a "town" if more than half of its people live in the urban area.
A Local Government district that does meet the above requirements for a City or Town is called a Shire.
The Council consists of 7 Councillors and 1 President.
The duty of the Council is to listen to the problems and ideas of the people and try to give them the kind of community they want.
Councillors are chosen by the people who vote for them at Council Elections.
How do you get to be a Councillor?
First you must be nominated by someone to stand for election in the Ngaanyatjarraku Council Elections. You may even nominate yourself!
Local Government Elections
On the third Saturday in October every 2 years Ngaanyatjarraku Council Elections are held. The people who live in district elect men or women to represent them on the Council. Those elected will serve on the Council for 4 years.
The President is chief of the Council and presides over Council meetings. The President is elected by the Councillors and remains President for 2 years.
How the Council Works
After the elections the new President and Councillors are sworn in and some of them are appointed to various committees to advise and discuss community matters before they are presented to the whole Council for a decision.
All information on matters that are brought before the Council is gathered by the Council Support Staff and presented to them in the form of an AGENDA.
The Councillors then discuss, debate and make a final decision. Decisions are reached by a majority vote of all the Councillors. These decisions are known as COUNCIL RESOLUTIONS.
The Council meets in the Council meeting rooms at the SHIRE OF NGAANYATJARRAKU Administration Offices every second month: on the first Wednesday. These meetings are open to the public.
Council Support Staff
These are the people employed by the Council to advise and to carry out work the Councillors decide should be done.
They are not elected but appointed and are paid for the work they do. Councillors are not paid a wage, but do receive money for attending Council meetings.
Like every large business or company there has to be someone at the top that will make day-to-day decisions.
In LOCAL GOVERNMENT this job is done by:
The Chief Executive Officer
There are several other Officers employed by Council, that all help to look after the Council, and it is their job to keep the Chief Executive Officer informed of work going on in their departments.
In turn the Chief Executive Officer sees that jobs are being done well and efficiently and money is not being wasted and ensures that COUNCIL RESOLUTIONS are carried out.
He is chief adviser to the Council.
Where the money comes from:
The Council handles large amounts of money - more than $3.5 million each year!
Each year the council receives around $50,000.00 from mining tenement rates. Mining tenements are special leases given to people or businesses to explore under the ground for mineral deposits like gold.
The Ngaanyatjarra Communities pay Ex-gratia Rates, which is a voluntary payment. This is because Aboriginal reserves are not rateable.
A Grant is a sum of money given to LOCAL GOVERNMENT by the STATE or FEDERAL GOVERNMENT for special projects such as building bitumen sealed community roads.
What the Shire does with the money:
The Shire spends a large portion of it's money on building and maintaining roads both bitumen and gravel.
There are TWO main activities in building and maintaining roads:
1. Planning Investigation & Design
This activity involves investigating the need for roads, and drainage then design them and estimate how much it will cost. The Shire contracts this type of work to Engineering businesses, as special skills are needed to design roads correctly so that they drain properly and last a long time.
Ngaanyatjarra Services (a contractor) are responsible for the actual building of all projects and getting the equipment like dumpers and graders needed to do the job. This to is done under contract because the Shire can not afford to purchase the machines needed to make roads.
In this Department the staff are called Building Surveyors. They make sure that the Building Regulations are obeyed.
To understand how the Building Department works let's look at a typical house building project.
1.The builder submits to the Council 2 copies of the house plans. One is kept as a record and the other is returned to the builder along with a LICENCE, which allows him to start building.
2. Before he is given a licence the plans have to be checked against the Building Regulations to make sure that everything is all right.
3. When the builder is building the house the Surveyors make regular visits to check that the right building materials and methods of construction are being used, and that the builder is following the approved plans.
Every day all the homes, shops, workshops AND schools in the Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku gather heaps and heaps of rubbish.
What do we do with it?
It is collected by a rubbish truck three times a week in Warburton and Warakurna on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The other communities provide waste services to their own communities under their employment programs called Community Development Employment Program. (CDEP)
The Shire sweeps the roads in Warburton and Warakurna and mows the grass and collects litter to keep the community clean.
The people who work in the Health Department are called Environmental Health Officers. This doesn't mean they are concerned with trees and wildlife, but with the many things in our environment that are bad for our health and could make us ill. Pests, such as mosquitoes and rats and even excessive noise!
The Environmental Health Officer monitors and controls all these things.
Keeping us Healthy!
Pests and Diseases
If there are any outbreaks of food poisoning or other diseases the Health Department is notified by Doctors or the Hospital. The problem is investigated by Environmental Health Officers to prevent the disease from spreading through the community.
Recreation is any activity you choose to do because of the enjoyment you get from it and can be anything from playing sport to painting pictures.
Council provides funding for facilities for many leisure activities for everyone in the community.
What do you and your family do for fun when you are not at school or at work?
You can learn to swim, or have a nice relaxing bathe in the public swimming pools at Warburton, Warakurna or Blackstone.
Learn to play Aussie Rules Football, Basketball or Softball
The Shire’s Sport & Recreation Officers are around the community with the balls and equipment for the kids to enjoy a game or two.
The Shire looks after the Ovals in Warburton and Warakurna. Because of the great travelling distances involved between communities it is not possible to provide this service to all communities. So the Shire provides financial assistance to the other communities so they to can have nice playing fields.
Want to Learn More
If you would like to know more about local government or this Council please contact us.