Darwin’s future is bright thanks to huge projects within the city.
Darwin Lord Mayor Kon Vatskalis has been pivotal to the development of the city as he contributes with his vast experience and knowledge. A strong advocate for the advancement of the city, the advancement of local business has been at the forefront of his policy, focused on upgrading the city.
Mayor Vatskalis, a member of the legislative assembly from 2001-2014 was a cabinet minister for 12 of these 13 years, serving as minister for health and also minister for lands, planning and environment, housing, local government and ethnic affairs.
“This experience means I can identify challenges, work out solutions and make the necessary decisions,” he says, adding that he has an optimistic outlook and does not accept the view that “we can’t do that, it’s too difficult, it might upset a couple of people”. Instead, he wants to hear “Yes, good idea – let’s see how we can make this work”.
Proud of the city of Darwin, he has focused on upgrading the waterfront and providing an environmentally clean policy which includes awarding the management contract for Shoal Bay Waste Management Facility to a company that has as its key aims the maintenance and sustainable green energy which has a positive affect on the environment.
Mayor Vatskalis says he believes he has bought three characteristics to his role: “good governance, a can-do attitude and the ability to work with people regardless of their political views”.
The local festivals that have used the Waterfront as a venue has brought joy, amusement and economic strength to the city. The Mango festival, the Christmas festival, the Arts and crafts and the Santa run are a few events that have utilized the space and brought the local community and tourists together. The Botanical Gardens have been replenished and there have been many years of Carols by Candlelight in the Gardens which has beautified Darwin and have made it an attractive place for Northern Territory Writers events to be held.
The Mayor stated that the Northern Territory has a “cosmopolitan character” and it is a “different world” to live in.
During COVID-19 he was “able to lock the borders quickly and prevent a spread of the COVID-19 pandemic”.
The Northern Territory is the “lucky Territory”, he says, adding that the old “impex gas plant”, where the Howard Springs are that COVID-19 affected people are able to go to and isolate.
Mayor Vatskalis points to more developments to come thanks to $77 million benchmarked for the completion of a project to assist in the economic growth of Darwin.
“There will be plans to plant 10,000 trees in Darwin and upgrade the roads,” he said.
“The Northern Territory government will develop the Cassarina area and convert the pool and it will become a completed and civic centre.”