Message from the Shire President

With the election nomination period come and gone, and our nominees elected unopposed, I would like to formally congratulate our returning Councillors – Gary Cosgrove and Justin Bagley and welcome our two new Councillors-Elect – Carol Farr and Hellene McTaggart. I am certainly looking forward to working with you all following your upcoming swearing in next month. Whilst no election is taking place in Mingenew this year, it is great that our community has enough interest and willingness to see all our positions filled – many small local governments are not this lucky.

I would also like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank our outgoing Councillors, Leah Eardley and Kym McGlinn for their service and contribution to the Shire over the past four and two years respectively.

I recently attended a series of State Risk Project workshops, along with Council, community and agency representatives as part of the ongoing work of Mingenew’s Local Emergency Management Committee. The process involved considering what risks certain events (such as fires, floods or biosecurity outbreaks) would have upon our community and how we would respond. The process was, at times, sobering – reminding us of some of the limitations we have and how vulnerable small communities like ours can be in the face of disaster. It was also strangely uplifting though, as we were constantly reminded of the strong community fabric that we have in Mingenew and the amount of internal support our community provides in the face of adversity.

Lastly, I want to acknowledge that we are rapidly approaching this year’s harvest. I would like to wish all our farmers a successful, safe and productive year.

– Cr Helen Newton, Shire President.

Roads

As we move towards our road construction period, we are gearing up for several key projects:

  • Coalseam Road Widening between Scroops Rd and Coalseam Bridge (due to commence October)
  • Coalseam road embankment works near Coalseam Crossing (tender to be adjudicated at the October Council meeting)
  • Yandanooka NE Road ongoing widening (tender to be adjudicated at the October Council meeting)
  • Sealing of all the above

During this time we will also be working through our maintenance grading program, which is currently centred around the south-east section of the Shire (Colgate, Yandanooka-Melara, Yandanooka Morawa Roads). From there, we will be moving toward Mooriary/Strawberry North East and Burma roads.

Bridges

Representatives from Main Roads attended the September Council meeting to provide an update on the planning and design process for replacements to the Coalseam and Yarragadee bridges. At this stage the information we have is as follows:

Coalseam Bridge:

  • New bridge likely to be built on the alignment of the previous bridge (next to current bridge)
  • New bridge construction expected to commence around February 2021
  • Current traffic control measures to remain in place until them
  • FY20-21 portion of project has secured funding

 Yarragadee Bridge:

  • Moving towards design phase as waterway and geotechnical studies are completed
  • Likely to be replaced by new bridge with deck 100mm higher than current structure
  • New bridge may be replaced on site of current bridge, which will require alternative access routes to be put in place
  • Construction of new bridge currently unfunded (as will require further design works to secure funding)
  • Construction therefore likely to occur following Coalseam bridge replacement

Main roads are expecting to have further updates in several months time, and a community meeting has been mooted at that time to provide public information and an opportunity for road users to ask questions directly.

 Local Government Election

Following the close of nominations for candidates on 12 September, we had an equal number of candidates and vacancies. As such, no election is required as all candidates are deemed to be elected unopposed. Our new Councillors-elect are:

  • Justin Bagley (Rural Ward)
  • Hellene McTaggart( Rural Ward)
  • Gary Cosgrove (Town Ward)
  • Carol Farr (Town Ward)

Their terms will commence from 20 October 2019 and run until 21 October 2023.

 Rubbish Collection Changes

All eligible properties should now have replacement bins from Cleanaway, following the final Avon Waste collection on 19 September. Please note that for domestic bin, the collection day is Monday. A reminder that some rural properties are now eligible for collection, and that the option now exists to have a skip bin for those who require the extra capacity. You can find out more on our website: here.

Waste Transfer Station

Through the public consultation process we received 41 submissions relating to the shift from landfill to transfer station. Thanks to all who provided their input. Some key findings regarding the use of the landfill:

  • Most current usage happens on weekends
  • Majority of waste dumped is household/green waste
  • Vast majority of loads up to 3m3
  • Strong preference for limited days to include weekends
  • Slight preference for opening hours to be 10am-2pm

A range of comments were received, which reflect largely expected concerns:

  • “I am concerned that restricting and taking away the freedom of choice to attend the landfill facility at any time chosen is going to impact on the cleanliness and tidiness of the town. I also hope that local residents only will be given the opportunity to be employed at the landfill facility”
  • “As we do not receive a rubbish collection service but pay relatively high rates, we (farmers) should be able to use the tip facilities for free.”
  • “What is the cost to Rate Payers? How much rubbish will be dumped in the bush? Will you place a large bin at the gate for people cut short?”
  • “A fee for using the tip should be introduced,the public also need to know the cost of running a tip.”
  • “As long as general rubbish drop off remains free for those of us without curbside pick up I’m not overly concerned.”
  • “In it’s present form, the tip currently self recycles. People dump their unwanted goods and then other people take what they can use and recycle. If the tip is remodeled in to a transfer station this will no longer occur. There will be an increased risk that residents will begin to illegally dump their rubbish in the bush surrounding the town.”

The next step will be for Council to embark on an Expression of Interest process for a person or organisation to manage the transfer station operations, this will have a number of features:

  • Include rights to salvage/recycle
  • Strongly suggest implementation of a ‘tip shop’ to allow for continued ‘self-recycling’
  • Set minimum opening hours: 6 hours on Saturday, 4 hours on Sunday, 6 hours on Wednesday
  • Contractor to have ability to open outside of these hours should there be demand
  • Contractor to be responsible for capturing of waste data, in accordance with legislation

The changes will also restrict the waste types that can be dumped free of charge to:

  • Domestic waste
  • Green waste
  • Waste oils
  • Whitegoods
  • Domestic quantities of construction waste
  • Reasonable quantities of commercial waste

Charges will likely be introduced for certain types of waste to be dumped (as there is a future cost to dispose of/manage)

  • Asbestos (domestic quantities only; must be appropriately double-wrapped)
  • Any waste from non-ratepayers

Some types of waste (like tyres) will continue to be prohibited, and this will be more strongly policed, as they represent a significant cost to ratepayers to correctly dispose of and are frequently dumped illegally.

There will continue to be significant public notification as Council moves through this process. It’s acknowledged that it will mark a significant change to the current landfill operations, but with ongoing tightening of waste management legislation and an increased need to responsibly dispose of our waste and operate our waste site these changes are increasingly necessary. The end result will be a more cost-effective and environmentally friendly approach to managing our waste, and a tidier and safer waste facility.

Council will be advertising in the coming weeks for a business or contractor to potentially take over operations of the transfer station.

Council Meeting Review

The September Council meeting was relatively procedural in nature, with the adoption of several new policies and approval of a block amalgamation in town. The most significant piece was awarding our bitumen sealing contract for the 19-20 Financial Year, which forms a significant part of our upcoming roadworks.

Heavy Vehicle Access to CBH and around Townsite

At this year’s Expo we commenced consultation around some proposed changes to heavy vehicle access to CBH and surrounds. We are continuing to seek community feedback on this matter to help to inform next steps. The primary issues being addressed are stacking distance problems for long trucks at the Mingenew-Morawa Road intersection, the impact of Boolinda Rd being blocked by trains and concerns regarding heavy vehicle traffic in the town centre.

We have a feedback survey available for any interest people to complete: here.

For more information, including proposed mapping, and a downloadable version of the survey, visit the Shire website: here or come by the Shire office.

 Fire Season

As we move towards summer, a reminder that Restricted Burning commenced on 1 October and Prohibited Burning will commence on 1 November. The Shire will also be conducting property and firebreak inspections to address any potential fire hazards. More information can be found on the Shire website.

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 here, 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. You can find us here.

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