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Presidents Column - Issue 5 2017

Created on: Friday, 23 June 2017 at 9:51:08 AM

After a very hectic April it is was somewhat pleasing to have a less than busy month in May - an opportunity for all to get their breath back. Once again thanks to all those who helped organise and participated in the many community events during April.

With the end of the financial year upon us, Council has been busy with framing a Draft Budget for the 2017/18 financial year. As with all budgets this is a complex process in trying to balance up the things that need doing, those that the community would like done and maintaining the infrastructure we have, while at the same time trying to keep the rate increase to a minimum.

Over the years Dongara has certainly produced our fair share of top athletes and it continues with karate champion Olivia Clifford being the latest in this group. Now a boarder at Santa Maria College in Perth, Olivia is close to her training facilities which is less taxing on her and her parents who would take her to Perth three times a week to train.

Olivia is now Australia's No.1 female after winning the 59kg open title in Sydney in April adding to her gold medal win in the all schools and juniors. All going well Dongara may well boast an Olympic athlete in the 2020 games in Japan. We wish her all the best in her endeavours going forward.

An application to the Australian Communication and Media Authority (ACMA) for an apparatus license (digital TV broadcasting) in the Broadcasting Service Bands has been prepared and letters seeking support from the broadcasters for the application have been issued. When the letters of support have been received the application can be forwarded to ACMA. Whilst waiting for the license application to be approved the procurement process can be commenced including the Request for Quote document and identification of the specifications to be included. Assumption is a normal UHF TV antenna in good condition mounted on roof will suffice with the range being about 6km radius of the site - greater in some directions. Reception by "caravan" antennas in the town areas should be OK".

The Project Management Team for the Port Denison Age Appropriate Residential Development met to consider matters that are outlined within the grant agreement and timeframes. The Shire Working Group for the project met for the first time with the Project Architect, Mr Phillip McAllister, from Fratelle Group, to confirm details of the project brief and to discuss the design requirements for the units. Mr McAllister also inspected the site whilst he was here. It is anticipated that the draft concept designs will be presented to the June Forum for discussion. The site survey has also now been completed and provided to the Fratelle Group. All going well the project designs will be completed and able to go to tender later in the year with construction commencing early 2018 with occupancy anticipated late 2018.

Congratulations to the Shire for winning the Library Board's "2017 Award for Excellence" for innovation in raising community awareness of local oral history. They were the only country finalist and won the award over two City Councils and two university libraries.

Congratulations also to Trish Parker who at the WA Heritage Awards in Perth, was runner up in the "Professional Contribution" category which recognises an individual who has made a significant contribution to heritage and has demonstrated best practise standards through their employment in the heritage industry.

Two infrastructure projects have been commenced - these being the storage shed at the Recreational Centre and the conversion of the grass tennis courts to synthetic surface. This latter project will produce ongoing savings as it will alleviate the watering and maintenance of the present courts and the need to upgrade the reticulation equipment which is badly in need of replacement, while the shed will provide much needed storage for sporting groups and the recreation centre.

Cr Ian West, Shire President

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