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President's Column - Issue 1 3 November 2015

Created on: Tuesday, 3 November 2015 at 8:51:23 AM

Welcome to the first President's column which will appear monthly both here and on the Shire website.

For those who aren't familiar with me, my wife Liz and I have resided in Dongara since 2005. Our involvement with the community includes - Liz (ambulance, golf club, book club and taking reading at the school) - myself (Shire, golf, bowls & President of the Race Club).

We have three new faces on Council, (Councillors Sandy Gumley, Barrye Thompson and Mal Meares) so please take the opportunity to meet them. With regards to the Shire of Irwin this is a very new Council but I am optimistic that new ideas and thinking will produce some positive outcomes for the Community.

There are a number of changes I wish to initiate that will enhance Council's engagement with the Community, these being:

  • produce a President's column monthly to inform residents of Council activities and correct some of the misinformation which occasionally appears in the Rag.
  • meet with the business community on a regular basis.
  • have Council visit some of their business's to view their operations.
  • have informal meetings, possibly yearly at various locations across the Shire so people living there can have the opportunity to update us on issues that affect them and also meet those Councillors and staff in attendance.
  • In a similar vein to “Meet the CEO sessions” held earlier this year, I intend providing local residents the opportunity to meet and speak with me

Since being sworn in on 19 October, I have had to hit the ground running with a Regional Road Group Sub Group meeting, present a Shire hosted award at the year 12 leavers ceremony, attend the State Cabinet functions in Geraldton on Sunday 25 and Monday 26, meet with Minister Marmion at Dongara on Tuesday morning and a Council meeting that afternoon.

The Hon Bill Marmion, being the Minister for Mines and Petroleum, congratulated Council on their proactive initiative to hold an information Expo to give the public an opportunity to ask questions of the regulators, the industry and opponents of hydraulic fracturing on the latest developments in the oil and gas industry within the Shire. I personally wish to thank the participants and the public for their contribution to the success of the Expo.

I also took the opportunity to bring to his attention community concerns regarding the movement of sand during operations of the lime sand lease at south beach area of Port Denison – and the Minister indicated that he would speak to his department regarding this issue.

The October Council meeting was a very full agenda and the outcomes can be viewed on the Shire website.

In conclusion I wish to congratulate the Charity Ball organising committee on the terrific effort they put into the event which is still very much a conversation piece with many who were in attendance looking forward to this possibly becoming an annual event.

Cr Ian West, JP
Shire President

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