Message from the Shire President
It’s been another busy month both at the Council and in the region more broadly. Mingenew hosted the recent Victoria District Ladies Golf Championship, which saw participants from across the region converge on our town for three days of competition and enjoyment. It was both well-fought and well-attended; another quality event which is testament to the hard work and talent of our local volunteers.
Further east, I was also impressed with the Shire of Morawa’s recent NAIDOC Week event. Considering it is only in its second year, they had strong attendance and provided an entertaining and thought-provoking program, which involved people from right across the region. It was particularly encouraging to see so many young people taking part and engaging with this year’s theme of ‘Voice. Treaty. Truth.’
On the political advocacy front, we were visited this month by Hon. Martin Aldridge MLC, Member for the Agricultural Region. We were able to use this opportunity to discuss a range of matters with Mr. Aldridge, key among them the distribution of licence fees to fund works on local government roads and improving the provision of regional health services – particularly mental health. Mr Aldridge sits on the newly appointed Select Committee into Local Government, and we plan to provide a submission to the Committee outlining some of the disproportionate burdens that are placed on small, rural local government.
Meanwhile, the Council adopted its 2019/20 Budget and our new 2019-2023 Corporate Business Plan. These are critical documents to both resource and guide Council activities for the coming 12 months, and beyond. I would like to acknowledge the effort that has been put in by staff and Councillors in preparing, scrutinizing and adopting them. With the budget confirmed, our road program for 2019/20 – for both maintenance and new construction – can commence in earnest.
– Cr Helen Newton, Shire President.
Corporate Planning and Budget
Our 4-year Corporate Business Plan has now been adopted. This gives the Shire clarity with regards to which projects will be prioritized for delivery over the coming 12-48 months. These priorities were selected based upon feedback provided through the Community Strategic Plan 2019-29 and – whilst it’s impossible to fit everything into a four-year plan – it provides an ambitious target for us.
The coming 12 months will be focused on the planning and funding of several key projects, including the Railway Station and Town Hall. Increasingly, we will require strong funding applications in order to help fund and deliver projects, and ensuring that we have clear, costed and achievable plans is part of that process.
We have also adopted our 2019/20 Budget. This gives funding surety to this year’s projects and operational activities – meaning that we can start tendering for large projects (like some of our roadworks). It also means that our rates notices have been issued; this year, we are seeing a rate rise of 0.94%.
As always, weather is our biggest challenge at this time of year. We have elected to postpone the sealing of the Mingenew-Mullewa Road until we have had sufficient dry conditions to ensure a lasting seal, and the water has done a superb job of creating potholes for our crew to fill and reminding us which roads turn to mud the fastest and take the longest to dry out.
With the passing of the budget, we will be releasing some roadworks tenders, as well as commencing our own maintenance and construction program. It was also a good time to look back at what we achieved in 2018/19: Over $5.6m of roadworks delivered. For comparison’s sake, that figure is a touch more than the previous two years combined (by virtue of a significant amount of flood damage repair work which took place). That said, we still have a program of approximately $4.2m for 2019/20, which includes significant widening and sealing on Coalseam Road, completion of the sealing on Mingenew-Morawa Road, some further widening and sealing of Yandanooka North East Road, as well as a range of maintenance and resheeting projects across the Shire.
Rubbish Collection Changes
Council has awarded a new tender for rubbish collection. Effective 23 September, Cleanaway will be taking over from Avon Waste. The biggest change will be collection day for domestic bins moving from Thursday to Monday. One of the other changes under the contract will be the availability of collection for some rural properties along selected routes. Stay tuned for further information on the changeover in the coming weeks. You can click here for more details.
Council Meeting Review
The key focus items of the July Council meeting were our Budget and Corporate Plan. Roads also featured strongly, with Council adopting a Five-Year Road Plan, as well as a Road Closure Policy. The Plan outlines key construction and maintenance projects over the coming five years and will help to inform future budgets and works programs.
The new Policy is a key document which outlines the circumstances under which the Shire may close or restrict access to roads, as well as relevant exemptions to those closures. It is a further piece in our ongoing desire to ensure that we manage our roads effectively during wet weather and protect them from unnecessary damage.
As always, minutes can be found on the here.
It’s certainly starting to feel like the tourism season is kicking off, with increased numbers of visitors in the Shire. We want to acknowledge the hard-working volunteers at both the Tourist Centre and Museum who will be kept busy throughout the coming months – they perform an invaluable service.
Over the course of the past month our new marketing campaign ‘Make Mingenew the Middle of Your Wildflower Season’ has launched, if you haven’t seen our advertisement for the current season, we encourage you to check it out here . Our online presence this year is being bolstered by TV advertising and billboards on the Brand Highway.
If you haven’t already done so, we would love to have some feedback from you regarding our proposed shift from landfill to transfer station. We encourage all tip users to take part in the consultation process and help us by completing our online survey here.
For more information, including our draft Environmental Management Plan, and a downloadable version of the survey, visit the Waste Management section on our Resources page.
2019 Local Government Elections
Ordinary Elections will take place to fill two Town Ward and two Rural Ward seats on Saturday October 19 2019. Whilst this may seem like it’s a long way off whether you are looking to nominate, or simply vote, now is a great time to check your enrolment. Rolls will close 5.00pm on Friday 30 August. It’s not compulsory to vote in Local Government elections, however as a voter, or a prospective Councillor, you have a real chance to make a difference to your community.
Our website has a wealth of information on both voting on, and running in, Local Government elections. We encourage you to visit our elections page to find out more.
It’s hard to believe that Expo 2019 is only a fortnight away! Please be sure to drop by the Shire stand this year, in the family interest tent, to learn a little more about some of our projects and give us feedback on both our transfer station and CBH Heavy Vehicle Access proposals.
Website and Communications
We have been updating our contact lists for our email and text message database. We have finalized our new lists, so if feel you are missing out on important text messages with Shire updates, please complete the ‘Community Register’ form at our resources page, or simply come into the Shire office for a form.
Likewise, if you haven’t already, be sure to follow the Shire on Facebook for a range of regular updates. Simply click here.< See More News