Multinational professional services behemoth Deloitte will conduct and prepare a five-year Katherine Community Strategic Plan for the agreed price of $87,500.
Katherine Town Council unanimously supported the proposal tabled by chief executive officer Ian Bodill at its ordinary October meeting on Tuesday.
Both the mayor Lis Clark, and her deputy Kym Henderson emphasized the strategic document was to be formed by the community, not the council.
"There'll be a lot of community engagement, and we're encouraging any nonprofits, and I'm going around letting the businesses know in person," Cr Clark said.
"Because this plan is what's going to drive council over the next five years.
"It'll be the community that tells us this is what we'd like to see over the next five years. And from that, then you can work out which projects are going to be needed, the funding and all of that kind of thing."
Councillor Henderson said the council was entering an exciting phase.
"This is the Katherine community strategic plan, not a Katherine Town Council plan, and we want the community to get involved," Cr Henderson said.
"We went through a very thorough process to get to this point with this consultant, and it's really important that we now work to get the community involved. "
A council team consisting of Cr Henderson, Cr Maddie Bower, CEO Ian Bodill, and executive assistant Jherry Matahelumual, conducted interviews with four shortlisted applicants via webinar.
During the two-hour process, applicants were asked about their community consultation methods and availability.
Mr Bodill said following further reference checks, it was finally agreed that Deloitte would be recommended to the council as the preferred candidate due to the Darwin-based company's proximity to Katherine and its relevant experience.
"They are experienced in local government planning, having previously worked with other NT councils and the NT Government," he stated in his report to the council.
"And they presented a stand-out submission and interview and also have experience in working with diverse communities."
The planning and consultation process is expected to take 8 months, and the 2023 to 2028 plan will be signed off towards the end of this financial year.
"Hopefully, work will be starting very soon, and over that time, there'll be plenty of opportunities for people to have input," Cr Clark said.
"And what I've been saying to people is that if they can't make a meeting, then send an email to me and let us know what you want. We want everyone's input because it is a community-driven strategic plan.
"It's been a long time coming, and I think it is going to be a very interesting process."
The community's first chance to give feedback to the council regarding the plan will be this weekend when Katherine Town Council holds another meet the councillors session at the Hot Springs Top Park near the Pop Rocket Cafe from 9am to 12pm on Saturday, October 30.
"It is a great opportunity for members of the public to ask questions and talk all things council," Cr Clark said.
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