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President's Column - Issue 6 2016

Created on: Tuesday, 7 June 2016 at 11:55:56 AM

Cr Ian West, JP                                                              Issue 6      7 June 2016

Hard to believe that we are now nearly at the half way point of the year. From a Council perspective this means framing a budget for the coming financial year. At the May meeting Council moved to advertise our rates in the dollar for the differential rating categories for the next financial year with a 3% increase across all categories. This is the smallest increase for many years and has been achieved by operational efficiencies and savings gained through the Service and Organisational Review process.

The Irwin Rec South Precinct working group met during May with a number of requests to be considered in the upcoming Budget deliberations. These included the resurfacing of three grass tennis courts to synthetic and an allocation of funds to start an upgrade of the area surrounding the skate park. In line with what was outlined during the public meeting there in April, and taking on board suggestions put forward, a concept plan will be commissioned shortly, which will be on completion, available for public comment. I would anticipate that work in the next twelve months would involve a general tidy up of the area, reshaping of the BMX track and attendance to a number of other low cost priority items.

It is most disturbing that people are using social media, in particular Facebook to spread unsubstantiated gossip, talking down the area and in some cases defamatory remarks towards others. Be aware that statements made on social media are now admissible as evidence in court. If residents require clarity on issues that are of a Local Government nature please speak to myself or Council staff. The Shire of Irwin is a great place to live, work and play, so those who post negative material online not only do the community a disservice but also themselves.

As an outcome of our Strategic Community Plan, Council has formed an Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC) which will partner with the business community to foster economic development though a number of strategies. The committee has met twice and consists of 3 councillors, the CEO, 2 Dongara sub-committee members of the Mid West Chamber of Commerce & Industry and 2 independent community members. Ads were placed calling for expressions of interest for the 2 community representatives and I am pleased to advise that Mr Kevin Beerier and Mr Roy Smith were appointed to these positions.

The second "meeting the people" will be for Port Denison residents will take place at the Sea Rescue building at 4pm on Thursday 30th of June. The purpose of these meetings is to give residents an opportunity to meet their Council and to ask questions and express their concerns in a non-formal atmosphere. Look out for reminders in the Rag.

Once again I would like to remind residence that they are the eyes of the community, so anything that they feel needs attention please advise the customer service officers at the Shire so these items can be addressed by the appropriate staff.

As a follow up on my correspondence with her, I will be seeking a meeting with Melissa Price while she is in the electorate leading up to the federal election on July 2, to discuss the poor television and radio reception experienced within the Shire. Armed with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) report which identified the unreliable reception experienced and the petition from residents, I will be seeking Federal Government support to address the issue.

Cr Ian West, Shire President

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