Message from the Shire President
As we roll through the end of financial year, Council has been spending time putting together its budget for 2021/22. The process is, as always, a lengthy one – taking place over a couple of months – as we also review our Corporate Business Plan and 5-year Roads Plan and allocate resources for their delivery.

As with every year, the process – which we hope to finish in July – is a balancing act. Council’s financial and human resources are, like any household budget, limited. As a result, committing resources in one area often means spending less (or going without) elsewhere. Whilst we are always trying to bring in external grants, these are often tied to specific projects and offer little flexibility in terms of where and how they are spent. This year we are also dealing with some uncertainty, as we seek to recoup some of the unexpected costs incurred by TC Seroja – and provide resources to assist with the ongoing community recovery process. We are also facing increased costs – particularly in the construction sector – which have only been made worse by the cyclone. All along, we are very mindful of the need to ensure that any cost increases passed onto the ratepayer are as modest and sustainable as they reasonably can be.

Whilst that challenge remains, we are also working with our State Government counterparts to try to develop solutions to the significant temporary and longer-term housing challenges that the cyclone has created, for both residents and workers. Whilst these matters are certainly progressing, the process remains slow. That said, there are still a number of support options available for those impacted and in need of assistance. If you are unsure of what is available, further details are in this newsletter, or you can contact the Shire directly.
One silver lining through the past month has been the rain. For both our farming community, and the prospect of a strong wildflower season, the regular showers have provided a good start to the season, and we all hope that the finish is equally good.

– Cr Gary Cosgrove, Shire President 

TC Seroja

The Shire is continuing to maintain its website resources for those impacted by the cyclone. You can find those online here: https://mingenew.wa.gov.au/shire-news/tropical-cyclone-seroja/
There are a range of support services currently available:

Services Australia
The Federal Government is providing a one-off, non-means tested payment of $1,000 for eligible adults and $400 for children affected by the disaster.
Phone: 180 22 66
Website: Click here

WA Department of Communities
Disaster Response Hotline: 1800 032 965
Website: Click here

Lord Mayor’s Distress Relief Fund
Click here
Now open. Forms available online and from the Shire Office

Western Power Relief Package
Click here
Apply for $600 off your electricity account

Water Corporation Relief Package
Click here
To assist with cleaning and repairing your property

DPIRD Assistance
Click here
To apply for assistance for primary producers

Small Business Development Corporation
Click here
Financial support and advice for impacted small businesses

Blaze Aid
Phone: Jenni – 0428 661 239
Blaze Aid are no longer set up at the Mingenew Polocrosse Grounds, but will continue to service those in the area where possible.

Rural Aid
Website: Click here
Phone: 1300 327 624
Email: carly.noble@ruralaid.org.au
Mobile: 0476 056 194
Financial and other assistance for farmers

Legal Aid WA
Website: Click here
Phone: 1300 650 579
For assistance with free legal advice

Insurance Council
Website: Click here
Phone: 1300 728 228
For assistance with insurance advice or any challenges you’re having with your claim.

Australian Taxation Office
Website: Click here
Phone: 1800 806 218
For assistance with any taxation matters for those impacted

Salvation Army
Website: Click here
Phone: 13 72 58
For assistance with emotional and financial support

Australian Red Cross
Website: Click here
Phone: 1800 733 276
For assistance with emotional and financial support, including face-to-face outreach

Desert Blue Connect
Website: Click here
Phone: 9964 2742
Locally-based counselling services for individuals and families

Beyond Blue
Website: Click here
Phone: 1300 224 636
For assistance with depression and mental health

Lifeline
Website: Click here
Phone: 13 11 14
For assistance with mental health

Kids Helpline
Website: Click here
Phone: 1800 55 1800
Children’s Phone Counselling Service

Virtual Psychologist
Website: Click here
Email: info@virtualpsychologist.com.au
Text: 0488 807 266
If you find it too hard to talk

Reporting Issues

  • Report Western Power Outage 13 13 51
  • Report Telstra Outage 13 22 03
  • Report Water Corporation Outage 13 13 75
  • SES Emergency Assistance 132 500
  • DFES 13 33 37
  • In an emergency always call 000
  • More Information:
    DFES Emergency Recovery Site: Click here
  • ABC Radio in the Mid West and Wheatbelt: 828AM or 531AM
  • Department of Communities Disaster Response Hotline: 1800 032 965
  • Department of Fire and Emergency Services Disaster Recovery Resource Page: https://www.dfes.wa.gov.au/emergencywa/recovery.html
  • SES Emergency Assistance: 132 500
  • In a life-threatening situation, always call 000

Roadwork Updates
As we move into a wetter time of year, our road works will be focused more on general and reactive maintenance. We will be utilising the Shire’s text messaging service, Facebook and our website to provide updates on any road closures. We encourage people to report any hazards to the Shire, (click here to contact us) and ask that people drive to the conditions.

You can find out more here.

Call For Expressions of Interest: Mingenew Tourist Centre Lease
In previous years Mingenew’s Tourist and Promotions Committee volunteers have manned the building during wildflower season, but a year-on-year reduction in volunteer availability – and increase in visitors has meant that this year we will be trialling a different model.

The Tourist Centre will be made available for an individual, group, business or organisation to lease – and utilise as they wish, provided that during tourist season the building be open, and the occupants assist with the provision of tourist information.

Any interested parties are encouraged to read the Expression of Interest notice, and – if you wish to apply – complete the EoI Form and return it to the Shire.

Expressions of Interest will be received up to 9.00 am Monday 12 July 2021 and the matter will be decided at the 21 July 2021 Council Meeting.

You can access more details, and the form, online here. Any enquiries, regarding the Expression of Interest process, including requests to inspect the building, should be directed to Erin Greaves, Governance Officer on 9928 1102 or by emailing governance@mingenew.wa.gov.au.

Cecil Newton Park/Skate Park Project Update
With some landscaping works due to happen in July, and a wait on some shade sails, work in Cecil Newton Park is nearing completion, and we hope to have a small event to formally open it – and thank the many generous people and businesses who have contributed, particularly to the flying fox.

The pump track will be constructed in the second half of the year, which will see the skate park/pump track area completed.

We’re Hiring!
We currently have several vacancies advertised in our outdoor crew:

  • Building Maintenance Officer
  • Leading Hand/Grader Operator
  • Works General Hand
  • We also accept standing applications for our casual pool of employees across the organisation.

For more information, contact the Shire, or head over to our careers page.

Transfer Station: Now Open
Our transfer station is now open.

Hours are:
Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 8am – 12pm
Wednesday: 1pm – 5pm
Thursday: Closed
Friday: 8am – 12pm
Saturday: 9am – 12pm
Sunday: 9am – 12pm

So far, the transition process has been relatively smooth. We would like to thank everyone for their patience. You can find more information online at: https://mingenew.wa.gov.au/shire-news/waste-management-changes/ or by contacting the Shire.

Parks and Gardens Update
With our 2021/22 Budget nearing completion, we will see some new projects coming online in the Parks and Gardens space. Some of these will be for consultation, and some for construction and delivery.

Mingenew Spring
We will be conducting consultation around the future of the Mingenew Spring to further enhance the existing pathway and recently-refurbished windmill

Samuel Phillips Park
Following community consultation earlier this year, Council will be conducting further planning works around the Park. There was interest in a range of options revealed through the feedback we received, with a range of park improvements or the potential for a water park raised repeatedly. It is expected work will be done in the new Financial Year to further scope up – and cost up – some of these options. One of the key considerations for Council is not just the construction cost, but also the running cost of new facilities. At this stage, a water park is viewed as cost prohibitive.

Pathway Plan
We have received funding to develop a plan for a range of footpath/cycle path upgrades to town. We will be consulting the community on our draft plan to get a better picture of what is required and prioritise the work over the coming years.

Main Street Streetscape
Several years ago the Shire commissioned a Town Centre Revitalisation Plan, which we have been working through and drawing guidance from for a range of parks and gardens improvements. (You can find it on our website here). One of the larger items is treatment of the main street section of Midlands Roads. This remains a future project, but one that we expect to start planning in FY21/22.

Keeping on Top of Everything
Turning these ideas into tangible outcomes is not always as straightforward as it may seem from the outside; projects require planning, in some cases grant applications, and allowances to be made for ongoing operational activities – because everything new must also be maintained. Because we operate with limited spare capacity, any new project we build displaces either existing operational works or other projects. For example, the time our crew spend upgrading playgrounds is time they don’t spend maintaining gardens or recreational facilities (and vice versa). As such, we need to try to balance our appetite for new projects with our need to maintain what we currently have – and we know we don’t always get this 100%. Especially when you throw cyclones and related challenges into the mix!

That said, our crew put in a lot of effort to keep things looking good – so please do provide feedback if you notice areas where work is required.

Providing Feedback
We welcome your feedback at the Shire, and have a purpose-built feedback form available on our website right here, or at our office, if you have a comment, compliment, complaint, or request for service.

Using the form will ensure that your feedback makes it to the correct person in our organisation, and is properly captured in our records system.

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.

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 – June 2021
The June Council Meeting saw some recent regulatory changes taking effect, with Council adopting a new Code of Conduct for Council Members, Committee Members and Candidates. It also saw some key governance matters completed, with the annual review of the Delegations Register and Corporate Business Plan as well as the minor two-year update of the Strategic Community Plan. Council also passed a motion to make a minor change to the organisational structure, elevating the Governance Officer role to a Governance and Community Manager position.

Minutes for Council Meetings can be obtained on the Shire website here.

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