Message from the Shire President

It’s hard to believe we are already through the first two months of 2021. I hope everyone has managed to take a break, recharge and has started the new year on the right foot – our recent rains certainly haven’t hurt.

As we move into March we also have the Mingenew Races on the calendar; it’s sobering to think that our races were one of the last major events to take place in the State before the COVID-19 lockdown, and resulting challenges of the past 12 months. It’s also welcome to know that our annual race day is back.

As is customary, Council did not hold a meeting in January, so we have recently completed our first Ordinary Meeting for the year, as well as our Annual Electors’ Meeting. In spite of the lack of meetings, there has been plenty happening in the background, with a number of projects progressing, including our works on the Mingenew-Mullewa Road, and a few further steps towards converting our landfill to a transfer station.

We have also have some staff-related news. After 14 years, our Works Supervisor Rocky Brennan is moving on. I want to thanks Rocky for all his work during his time for the Shire and wish him all the best. We have also welcomed Peter Wood as our Works Manager. Peter is responsible for the management of our depot operations, and has plenty of projects to sink his teeth into. I am also pleased to announce that at Council’s February meeting, we endorsed a further three year contract extension for our CEO Nils Hay.

I wish you all the best for the remainder of the year to come – here’s hoping the challenges of 2020 remain a thing of the past.

– Cr Gary Cosgrove, Shire President

Transfer Station Transition Process: 12 April 2021 Changeover

The process of transitioning from our current landfill to a manned transfer station facility is progressing – as anyone who has visited the tip site lately would have noticed. We anticipate the shift to transfer station operations from Monday 12 April 2021. This will include:

  • Reducing the hours that the tip is open
    • There will be some trialling to ensure opening times are suitable; initially we anticipate it will be open 18 hours per week, across a couple of weekdays and the weekend. Hours will be advertised by the Shire and on signage at the tip.
  • Restricting (and controlling) the type and volume of waste accepted
    • Particularly tyres and asbestos which are expensive for the Shire to manage and dispose of, and often dumped improperly
  • Separating waste streams more effectively to allow certain types of waste to be collected and recycled, rather than going to landfill
  • Charging to accept some waste types and/or introducing charges for those who are not Shire ratepayers
  • Manning the site to better monitor and manage this
    • There will be an attendant employed at the transfer station to provide direction to people about where to dump their waste

Many of our neighbouring shires have already moved to a similar model, and this process will bring Mingenew in line with modern waste management approaches and current waste management legislation. In addition to increasingly stringent environmental regulation which is making these changes necessary, we have also recently been receiving significant amounts of waste, like tyres, at the landfill.

It is acknowledged that some of this is coming from outside the Shire, because our tip is open 24/7 and free.  The current lack of a control mechanism means that it is going to be the Shire (and ratepayers) that are required to pay for this waste to be properly disposed of. By transitioning to a transfer station, we will be able to better manage situations like this.

Updates about the process will be made through the Shire website, Shire Facebook page, Mingenew Matters and via letterbox drop. For more information on the process, please contact the Shire.

Astrotourism

As part of our efforts to diversify our tourism sector, and extend our tourism period beyond wildflower season, the Shire has been actively working to promote stargazing and astrotourism. You may have seen (or even attended) one of our events at Yandanooka (the next one is coming up on April 10 – click here for the event page).

We have also been working on some minor infrastructure around Yandanooka to better cater for stargazing and astrophotography, as well as discussing the potential for the installation of similar assets with the department of Parks and Wildlife.

Mingenew is blessed with minimal light pollution as well as unique features like the Space Centre at Yarragadee, and we are keen to utilise these features to create another reason to say “We’ll see you in Mingenew!”

Roadwork Updates

Despite some delays due to recent rain, the Mingenew-Mullewa roadworks should be completed and sealed by 14 March. From there, our crew will be doing some work in town, upgrading parking around the Silver Chain and daycare building before Phillip Street, along with some of the town’s carparks, are resealed. Once the town works are complete, we will be re-sheeting Milo Road.

Cecil Newton Park/Skate Park Project Update

With the flying fox almost ready to open, the playground component of our youth precinct is almost completed – there’s still plenty to come though. In the near future we will be installing new paths in Cecil Newton Park and between the bakery and MIG building, as well as conducting some garden works to tidy up the park.

Following that we will start construction work on the pump track, with the skate park upgrade set for next month as well.

Changes to Ranger Services in 2021

The Shire has engaged the services Of WA Contract Ranger Services Pty Ltd to perform the Ranger duties in the Shire. Matthew Sharpe and Kylie Spark will be performing all duties as requested by the Shire from 1 January 2021.

WA Contract Ranger Services provides Ranger duties to over 30 Local Governments in the wheatbelt and look forward to working with the community.

They will initially take some time to introduce themselves around the community, including door to door dog and cat registration checks. WA Contract Ranger Services also offer in home microchipping of dogs and cats at very reasonable rates.

The Rangers are also closely affiliated with A1 Wheatbelt Dog Rescue and can assist with the re-homing of unclaimed/unwanted cats and dogs.

Matthew can be contacted 7 days a week for Ranger emergencies on 0459 678 154 however all complaints must be made directly made to the Shire office (08 9928 1102 or email enquiries@mingenew.wa.gov.au)

Library Computer

The Shire was successful with a recent grant application which has funded a public computer in the library. If you need a spot to check your email or use the internet, please just see our reception staff.

Fire Season

Restricted Burning:    1 Feb – 15 Mar 2021

Permits are required for burning activities during these times.

Permit Issuing Officers:

Murray Thomas         9928 1122 | 0428 281 157

Nick Duane                9972 6058 | 0429 726 058

For more information consult the Firebreak Notice sent out with the annual rates notice and available online here or contact the Shire.

Shire SMS Service

To improve our public communication the Shire sends out text messages for key fire, road and community-related matters. It’s easy and free to get on the list. If you would like to be added to the database, please fill in a form at the Shire office or complete one online here.

Tidy Blocks

With fire season here, in addition to ensuring your block is safe, it’s a great time to do some tidying.

Our Environmental Health Officer and Ranger will be conducting inspections to identify any locations which may harbour vermin, provide habitat for snakes or mosquitos. These blocks typically:

  • Contain debris or rubbish, including places where water collects and stagnates
  • Are overgrown or untidy

What will Council do?

We will contact property owners and request that they address any issues that are found. We can also help to discuss possible solutions. Council can assist with transportation of large items to the rubbish tip and with block slashing through private works arrangements. We may also be able to assist with the treatment of standing water to eliminate mosquitos.

In general, we much prefer to help owners tidy up rather than issuing infringement notices.

What can you do?

Store materials on your block in a tidy manner and tip out any standing water, reducing the places for vermin, snakes and mosquitos to live and breed

  • Remove debris/rubbish from your block
  • Keep the vegetation on your block trimmed so that it doesn’t become a home for vermin or, come the end of the rains, a potential fire hazard
  • Contact Council if you have large items, like car bodies, that you need help to remove

What is the outcome?

  • There are less places for vermin, snakes and mosquitos to breed
  • There are less overgrown lots and a smaller fire risk
  • Our town looks tidier and more appealing
  • Mingenew is a safer and more pleasant place to live and visit

We know that most of our residents work hard to keep their properties tidy, and we are confident that these are outcomes everyone would like to see. If you have any questions, please get in touch with us at the Shire and we will do our best to help.

Mosquito Activity

Shire officers have been testing and treating standing water for mosquito larvae and fogging. If you are have issues with mosquitoes at your property, please let the Shire know (visit the office, call 9928 1102 or email enquiries@mingenew.wa.gov.au) so that we can investigate and treat the issue.

Council Meeting Review – February 2021

Council’s February meeting saw a range of items passed, including:

  • Adoption of a range of Audit and Risk Committee recommendations relating to the operations of the committee, the Shire’s annual Compliance Audit Return and an internal audit of the Shire’s tendering and procurement
  • Acknowledgement of minutes from the Annual Electors’ Meeting held on February 8
  • Adoption of the Shire’s 2021-2025 Workforce Plan
  • A contract extension for the Shire’s CEO

For all the details, you can check the minutes on the Shire website: click here.

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