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President's Column - Issue 2 1 December 2015

Created on: Wednesday, 2 December 2015 at 3:32:54 PM

Once again November has been a busy month with Forums, a Council meeting, external committee meetings, award presentations and of course the Larry Lobster Festival.

Congratulations to the staff of the Dongara-Port Denison Visitors Centre for winning Bronze in the Visitor Information Services category at the WA Perth Airport Tourism Awards. Considering the finalists in this category - (City of Perth, Shire of Exmouth, City of Kalgoorlie Boulder & Perth Hills Visitor Centre) - for a small Shire such as ours, it is an enormous effort to be recognised in such company. The Shire of Irwin was also a finalist in the Local Government Award for Tourism but unfortunately weren't able to add to their previous bronze and silver awards of the past two years - never the less making the final was a great achievement.

I had the pleasure to be the quiz master at the Senior's quiz afternoon, held on the 12 November to celebrate Senior's week. It is this time of the year that we all need to pause and recognise the tremendous contribution seniors make to our community. Such organisations as the Local Rag, Dongara Charities, Denison Bowling Club and the Dongara Golf Club to name a few would not exist but for the time, effort and dedication put in by our senior members of this community.

One of our new initiatives was to meet on a regular basis with our business community. This is underway, with a presentation by the local committee of the Mid West Chamber of Commerce at our November Concept Forum, and a resolution of Council at the November meeting to form a committee to work in parallel with their group and also to engage with those businesses not represented by this association.

Also at this Forum a delegation from the Tennis Club addressed Council on the proposed future of the tennis courts, in particular the retention of six courts. At our November Council meeting a working group was formed to look at the area to the south of the recreation centre - including the skate park and BMX track - to develop the area to meet the future needs within this precinct. The working group will consult with all groups using this area so as to formulate a plan conducive to all.

On the 19th November, with the assistance of staff, I forwarded a letter of support to Cr Victoria Brown the President of the Shire of Esperance, passing on our communities’ sympathy and condolences on the tragic loss of life and infrastructure suffered by their community as a result of the devastating fires. Further to this, the Shire of Irwin forwarded to the Lord Mayor's Disaster Relief Appeal an amount of $5,000 to go towards the immediate and ongoing recovery process in the Esperance Shire.

There has been public concern regarding the Department of Health's intentions to fluoridate the town water supply. In view of this, on behalf of Council, I wrote to Minister Hames requesting a senior officer from his department to visit Dongara and address a public meeting on the issue. Once a meeting date is scheduled residents will be advised.

Congratulations to the organisers of the Bush Fire Ready evening out at Springfield with special thanks to Trish & Paul (Doopa) Parker for making their property available. It was well attended with around 40 residents making the effort to be there and hear presentations by our Chief Fire Control Officer, Fire staff and crews.

Many thanks to the people who commented on the Presidents Column - I hope, together with the weekly Shire notices, it keeps the community abreast of Council activities.

As this is a monthly column I take this opportunity to wish all residents a Merry Xmas and a safe and Happy New Year.

Cr Ian West, JP
Shire President

1 December 2015

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