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President's Column - Issue 4 2016

Created on: Thursday, 7 April 2016 at 9:15:56 AM


March saw our first round of "meeting the people" which was held at the Irwin FireShed on March 11. With some 15 residents, the meeting was well attended and I thank everyone for the frank and honest discussions we had. All issues identified have been passed on to the relevant staff and committees to action. Where outside agencies are involved, actions, especially on signage, speed limits and telecommunications will take some time but they are in train.

I have received a reply from the Minister for Health the Hon Kim Hames MLA with an assurance and I quote "I can confirm that the communication strategy for the fluoridation of the Dongara-Port Denison water supply is under development by the Department of Health at the moment.  I can also assure your Council that fluoridation will not commence until after community information sessions, which are part of this strategy, have taken place.'

Dr. Geoff Pain is doing a number of presentations around the State on the dangers of fluoride and will present a free community awareness program in the Ocean Room at the Recreational Centre on Thursday 7 April at 6.30 pm.

I wish to point out that Dr. Pain's presentation is organised by Fluoride Free WA. and not the Shire and forms no part of the Health Department's communication strategy.

The Shire, once again, as they have done for a number of years, sponsored the Dongara Golf Club's winter seasons open day. This was held on the 13th March followed by a casserole tea and attended by some 40 players. I wish the Golf Club all the best for the coming season.

My congratulations and thanks to the organisers and the many volunteers that made the annual Community Easter Egg Hunt and the associated activities on the foreshore an enormously successful event. I have heard nothing but praise from the many locals and visitors that took part. These type of activities are extremely important as they promote family activity, exercise, fresh air and a strong culture of community engagement.

With reference to the letter in the Rag making judgement on my comments regarding the change in the method of valuation on certain properties within the Shire, I make the following statements. As a believer in free speech I welcome comment on issues but please in doing so be factual. For readers information the only people to receive Land Use Declaration Forms were the owners of the 179 properties affected. The change of rate basis was undertaken to create equality and fairness across this class of land and the change may in fact see a decrease of rates collected from these properties.

If you are not sure of, or concerned about an issue please contact me and I will only be too happy to assist.

As residents you are the eyes and ears of the Shire, so if you see anything that requires attention please advise the Customer Service Officers at the front counter so these concerns can be logged and forwarded to the relevant department.

The Irwin Rec South Precinct working group will be meeting on Friday April 15 at 4pm at the skate park and BMX track and invite all users and their parents to join us there so as to establish ideas for the future development of these facilities and the area in general.

I hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable Easter break and remember school holidays start on the 9th of April, so with the increase of children about during the day please be extra vigilant when driving around town.


Cr Ian West JP
Shire President

5 April 2016

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