Palmerston Strategic Plan, Northern Territory

democracyCo were engaged to support the City of Palmerston to develop its strategic plan. The City of Palmerston is located between the outer industrial areas of Darwin and the rural areas of Howard Springs, 21 km south-east of Darwin.

The City has a population of almost 36,500 (2017) and whilst predominantly a residential centre (as a satellite city of Darwin) it has employment in the retail, government and some opportunities in light industry.

The population of the City more than doubled during the 1990s, increasing from under 8,000 in 1991 to nearly 21,000 in 2001. The City is considered to be a place for families; the median age being 30 and there being approximately 8,653 families. The Council is a new Council, having been elected a few months before the development of the plan. In the context of launching the municipal plan, the Council highlighted that it has substantial financial challenges to address and indicated that it wants a new Strategic Plan to be drafted to support its future direction.

The City of Palmerston embarked on a process to enable citizens to write the plan. In all over 200 people contributed to the process through a community ideas survey, an Aboriginal Leaders and Community forum, a 3 day randomly selected process which included 40 participants and nearly 20 young people and children, a series of staff workshops and a process to engage with elected members. Throughout the process citizens learnt about the economic prospects for Palmerston, its multicultural diversity, community safety and the creation of green spaces and innovation. The plan is now in the hands of Council to release it for further public input with adoption of the plan scheduled for early 2019.

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