Message from the Shire President
As a busy wildflower season slowly draws to a close, many in the community are looking ahead to harvest – and we are all optimistic that this year will be a bountiful one for our community.
I wanted to acknowledge the work of the Mingenew Midwest Expo team in their recent delivery of the Midwest Ag Industry Networking Event on September the 18th. In the absence of the Expo this year, it was good to see alternative formats being trialled to ensure that our agricultural community still have opportunities to come together to share ideas, stories and a few cold beverages.
I also recently attended the WA Local Government Association’s Annual General Meeting in Perth. This event too had been scaled down due to COVID-19, but – as it often does – reminded me that the challenges that our community face are felt across many other similar Shires in WA. There is growing pressure on all local governments to deliver more, both on behalf of the State Governments and to their communities. The growth of these devolved responsibilities and expectations far outstrip the growth in the resources made available to meet them.
As part of the event, I was able to listen to the leadership of all four of WA’s major political parties speaking about their vision for Local Government as we move towards the March 2021 State Election and, whilst some recognise the challenges faced by shires in rural WA more than others, there do not appear to be any great improvements in the complexity of our compliance framework or size of our funding opportunities on the horizon. There is a new Local Government Act currently in the works, and Council will be giving its drafts due consideration and clear feedback to try to ensure better outcomes for our communities – and others like us – into the future.
On a more positive note, I wanted to congratulate the town’s football and netball teams – all of whom made it through to this year’s grand finals, especially to our B and D Grade netballers who came away victorious. Even in a year marred by COVID, it’s fantastic that some of our teams were able to enjoy a season of competition, and a credit to everyone for performing as well as they did.
– Cr Gary Cosgrove, Shire President
Fixed Wireless Coverage for Mingenew
We are excited to announce that the Shire, with assistance from the Federal Government’s Drought Communities Program, has completed an upgrade of a telecommunications near the Mingenew townsite. This upgrade has made Node1’s Fixed Wireless internet service available to residents and businesses in town.
Fixed wireless broadband is already available to many in the rural parts of the Shire through the State Government’s Digital Farms program, which the Shire project built upon.
For more information, click here.
Call for Contributions to Youth Precinct Project
The Shire is carrying out a major upgrade of the area around the Shenton Street Skate Park; including improvements to the skate park area, new playgrounds to cater to a wider range of children, and a pump track. You can view a draft design document here.
We are over half-way towards funding the project, and calling for any others who wish to pledge to do so before 31 October 2020. If you can’t assist with cash, what we would really appreciate assistance with is the cartage of 200m3 of sand from Dongara to Mingenew. All donations will be used directly on the upgrade of this precinct, which will provide an improved recreation and play area for our Shire’s children for many years to come. If you wish to contribute towards this project, please fill and return a Donation Pledge Form (download here). All support received will be recognised on public signage.
Heavy Vehicles on Unsealed Roads
The Shire has been approached by some agricultural road users requesting seasonal speed reductions on some of our unsealed roads in a bid to improve safety and preserve the condition of our road surfaces.
Rather than mandating speed limits, we are asking all road users – particularly those in heavy vehicles – to ensure they are driving to the conditions and moderating their speed as possible on our unsealed roads, especially when cornering and passing other vehicles. Whilst the Shire can introduce speed restrictions on RAV vehicles throughout our road network, we would like to provide our road users with the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to take it easy on our unsealed roads.
With fire season approaching, please keep in mind these key dates:
Restricted Burning: 17 Sep – 31 Oct 2020 / 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
Prohibited Burning: 1 Nov 2020 – 31 Jan 2021
All burning is prohibited during this period.
Firebreaks: Must be installed on or by 1 October 2020 and maintained up to and including 15 March 2021 as per requirements of s33 the Bush Fires Act 1954.
For town blocks under 3,000m2 this means all flammable material must be removed from the whole of the land. For rural land, firebreaks must be provided not less than 2.5m in width inside and along the whole of the external boundaries of the properties owned or occupied. Where this is not practicable the firebreaks must be provided as near as possible to, and within, such boundaries. Failure to maintain firebreaks can result in fines of up to $5,000.
For more information consult the Firebreak Notice sent out with the annual rates notice and available online here or contact the Shire.
With fire season approaching, 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.
Tourism WA Deep Dive Workshop
WA’s Wildflower Country Incorporated, a tourism-focused grouping of local governments – of which Mingenew is a member – is hosting representatives from Tourism WA as part of an interactive workshop.
In addition to outlining Tourism WA’s own vision for our state and region, the workshop will provide an opportunity for those engaged, or interested, in the regional tourism sector to provide feedback on the strengths, challenges and opportunities that exist in our local tourist industry.
The event will beheld at the Three Springs Community Hall (132 Railway Road, Three Springs) on Thursday 15 October from 2-4pm. Please RSVP to Sharon Bell at the Shire of Three Springs by emailing email@example.com.
The Phase 5 relaxation of WA’s COVID restrictions has been further postponed to 24 October. As such, we are maintaining our level 4 measures. The Mid West has been incredibly fortunate during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we ask that people don’t become too complacent as a result of this. Please ensure you are maintaining appropriate social distancing and hygiene practices to help to build good habits to keep our community safe.
For further details on Council’s response to the COVID-19 situation, please check our website.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org) so that we can investigate and treat the issue.
Council Meeting Review – September 2020
Council’s September meeting was largely procedural in nature, with Council forming a position on several items for the WA Local Government Association AGM and selecting Councillor representation on the Community Assistance Scheme panel (thanks to Councillors Helen Newton and Robert Newton for agreeing to continue in their roles here).
For all the details, you can check the minutes on the Shire website right here.< See More News