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President's Column - Issue 2 2017

Created on: Tuesday, 7 March 2017 at 5:02:28 PM

Issue 2                 2 March 2017

Although two useful falls of rain occurred during February the Shire was spared the road and property damage that occurred in the south west of the State. The main issue for us being the Milo crossing that becomes impassable when the large volume of water that falls in the catchment area make its way down the Irwin River. Due to the sand and water across the concrete causeway, Milo Road was closed to traffic causing some inconvenience to local traffic. As soon as it was practicable the Shire's loader went to work removing the debris and clearing the causeway. A delegation of land owners and the Shire personnel met on site on Thursday 23 to discuss the issue and ideas for remedial works.

An assessment or required works is about to be undertaken to determine the cost of renovation so the facility can be utilised safely. The honour boards and photos have been moved and are being hung in the new Council Chambers. The World War 1 and 2 honour boards have been returned for the Shire to provide an appropriate home as the RSL doesn't currently have the available space to display. These, along with the bust of Sir David Brand, will need to be relocated or maintained in the Hall as part of future arrangements with the Autumn Club.

Once again thanks to those interested community members who attended the workshop held by the South Precinct consultants Convic. The participation was much praised by the consultants who have now taken the ideas away to draw up a concept plan that will be brought back to the community on for further consultation.

Residents and visitors would have noticed the new billboards located 8kms south of Kailis Drive and at the Seven Mile beach turn off - these were partly funded by a Visitor Centre Sustainability Grant funded by R4R through Tourism WA. The signs are fresh, highly visible and shares with the rest of the country, in part what Dongara/Port Denison is all about.

The Council, at a special meeting held on the 19 January, resolved to execute a grant funding agreement with the WA Country Health Service for Aged Appropriate Housing. The grant funding of just over $2 million, together with Shire contribution of land and $129,800, will allow a concept design for approximately 20 units with this funding being for at least 6 x 2 bedroom units. The target audience is for "people over 55" with the units being designed for people with disabilities and dementia. The designated timeline for completion is the latter half of 2018. Together with the allocation of $22.46 million health care investment for the coastal areas of Jurien Bay, Lancelin and Dongara as I reported last month, this will give a real kick start to appropriate aged care accommodation in the region.

Local contractor Rural & Residential Fencing have been awarded the works to replace the fence around the Hendy St sump with works due to commence this quarter. Council staff have been working with Water Corp to replace the existing fence around the Seahorse Loop sump with this work being financed by Water Corp.

With the car park at the new medical centre now completed this facility is scheduled to open next week (they are moving in over the weekend and will be open to the public from Tuesday 7 March). This facility goes a long way to addressing our community’s needs as identified through past consultation processes. This is the first investment in the Town Centre for many years and will attract greater commercial activity in this area. Council was proactive in assisting this project with a financial contribution to the dual use car park which is available to the public and will alleviate lack of parking in the town centre going forward.

The EDAC committee of Council met on the 8 February and invited, through advertisements in the Rag, local businesses to attend and discuss issues and ideas that may drive economic stimulation within the Shire.  Items of business included the MARKYT survey feedback, the Local Purchasing Policy, the filming of "Dirt Music" in Port Denison, local education opportunities, an investment attraction prospectus and an economic development plan.

Regardless of what's reported on Facebook the parameters set around Public Question Time at Council Meetings are modelled by the Department of Local Government and set out in the Shire of Irwin Meeting Procedures Local Law 2016.

The following is a brief summary:

  • a minimum of 15 minutes is allowed for Public Question time - this can be extended by the presiding member and has been done in the past where warranted.
  • 2 questions are allowed per person - this is to allow everyone in the public gallery an opportunity to speak - I have in the past allowed additional questions and will continue to do so depending on the number wanting to participate in question time
  • all questions asked at the meeting will be answered at the same meeting or taken on notice for a later response to the member and a summary included in the minutes of the next council meeting.
  • the Presiding member will not respond to statements not formed into a question or questions that are offensive or defamatory

For any member of the public wishing to view our Meeting Procedures, these can be found on the Shire website or if you would like a copy of guidelines relating to Public Question time please contact me.

Just a reminder that Council Agendas, meeting Minutes and other documents are available on the Shire website or upon request.

                                                                                                                                                Cr Ian West, Shire President

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