Message from the Shire President

May has been a bit of a strange month. For some, life has – thankfully – returned largely to normal following the cyclone. For many on our farming community, following a quick clean-up, seeding has been the focus for the past weeks – and the aftermath of the cyclone is something we will get to once that important task has been completed. For others, there is significant rebuilding to do, and this process could take quite some time.
For those who need assistance – whether it’s financial, insurance, a helping hand or simply someone to talk to – there is a large range of services that are currently available. You will find a number of them listed below, and you can always contact the Shire if you are unsure.

The good news is that we have had reasonable rainfall so far for the start of the season, so for those who are (or have finished) seeding – and for our wildflowers – we are hopeful that the weather remains kind for the coming months and we have some more reasons for positivity as the year rolls on.

For its part, the Shire is working constantly with the State Government and NGOs to advocate for our community and the issues that we are facing; at the moment this includes finding solutions for worker accommodation and medium-term housing as well as ensuring that there is suitable psychosocial support available in our region for anyone who needs it. We are also doing our best to ensure that we can provide information and direct people to support when they ask.

On an unrelated, and lighter note, I was very happy to join representatives from our local Men’s Shed to celebrate the re-raising of the windmill at Mingenew Spring. The old, damaged windmill was taken down some months ago and repainted and restored by the Men’s Shed. It’s great to see it back up again, and it will form part of a longer-term plan for Council to make the Mingenew Spring a more inviting place for visitors in our town.

The event marked the end of National Volunteer Week and was also another great reminder of the hard work and contribution of our many community volunteers.

– 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
Website: click here
Opens 31 May 2021; forms will be available online and from the Shire Office

Western Power Relief Package
Website: click here
Apply for $600 off your electricity account

Water Corporation Relief Package
Website: click here
To assist with cleaning and repairing your property

DPIRD Assistance
Website: click here
To apply for assistance for primary producers

Premier’s Grant
Website: click here
The State Government is providing a one-off payment of $4,000 per household to residents (owners or tenants) who had their primary place of residence damaged or destroyed

Small Business Development Corporation
Website: click here
Financial support and advice for impacted small businesses

Blaze Aid
Phone: Jenni – 0428 661 239
Blaze Aid are set up a basecamp here in Mingenew at the Polocrosse Grounds
For assistance with fencing and clearing on rural properties

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

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:

  • 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
The Shire has almost completed gravel resheeting works for our section of Milo Road in May. Please observe any signage and traffic control measures in the area.

Works will commence on the northern end of Mooriary Road following completion of the Milo Road works.

Cecil Newton Park/Skate Park Project Update

The skate park is now open! Pathways will be installed soon and additional landscaping and shade structures are being arranged.

Transfer Station Transition Process: Commencing 7 June

The process of transitioning from our current landfill to a manned transfer station facility is nearing completion. Operations will commence on 7 June 2021. This will include:

  • Reducing the hours that the tip is open. Based on feedback from previous community surveys, the Shire will be adopting the following hours initially:
    • Monday: Closed
    • Tuesday: 8am – 12pm
    • Wednesday: 1pm – 5pm
    • Thursday: Closed
    • Friday: 8am – 12pm
    • Saturday: 9am – 12pm
    • Sunday: 9am – 12pm
  • 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.

You can find more information online here or by contacting the Shire.

Providing Feedback
We welcome your feedback at the Shire, and have a purpose-built feedback form available on our website (click 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 – May 2021

The May meeting featured a number of planning items. Beyond the applications, one of the key items passed at Council’s May meeting was a paper waiving building and planning fees for anyone requiring to demolish or rebuild as a result of Tropical Cyclone Seroja. Council also adopted several new policies, regarding road verge vegetation management and construction of vehicle cross-overs.

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

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