24 March 2022
At last month’s Council meeting Councillors voted to adopt the Foreshore, Walking Trail & Entry Statement Masterplans. The Shire consulted extensively with the community and received some great ideas that were implemented in the final designs. The adoption of these plans means that the Shire can actively pursue funding to finance the works.
The Masterplan includes amenity upgrades and enhancements to Grannies Beach, Foreshore Park, Foreshore Core, Boat Ramp
and Obelisk. The plans also include upgrades to the Irwin River Walking Trail and an Extended Entry Statement that aims to attract visitors into our town and improve the arrival experience to the Moreton Terrace and Brand Highway intersection.
Council voted to adopt the masterplans and consider the community’s feedback during the final construction design phase. It was also recommended that the community is given the opportunity to review and make comment on the final designs before any construction work commences.
Councillors represent all community members across the Shire. If you have an issue you would like one of the Councillors to speak about on your behalf to the rest of the Council then please get in touch via phone, email or in person.
Lobbying for Power
Power outages continue to be an ongoing problem for our community, and I understand and join in your frustration. The Shire has had several meetings with, and continues to lobby Western Power, however there is power in numbers and as such I would like to encourage you to make your voice heard.
You have the power to lobby the State Government into taking action to address these ongoing regional power issues that are affecting thousands of people and businesses across the Mid West.
There are several ways you can make yourself heard. Firstly, you can express your concerns to Members of Parliament.
You can contact the Premier, the Hon. Mark McGowan MLA on (08) 6552 5000 or at email@example.com
The Minister for Energy, the Hon Bill Johnston MLA, on (08) 6552 6700 or at Minister.Johnston@dpc.wa.gov.au
Or alternatively you can contact your local Member for the Agricultural Region, Sandra Carr MLC on (08) 9964 1001, at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.sandracarr.com.au/contact/
The Shire has put together a template you can use, which can be located here.
While we are on the subject of power outages, I feel it is important to clear up some misinformation that has been circulating regarding Fire Bans and Western Power.
Total Fire Bans are issued the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES). Where it is considered safe, Western Power has an exemption to undertake planned and unplanned activities during a total fire ban. Before carrying out any work, Western Power undertake a risk assessment to ensure any activities will be safe. If work can be safely carried out, it will be within the limitations of a Total Fire Ban. A Total Fire Ban requires certain controls be put in place including the requirement of a fire suppression unit or water source to be nearby.
Harvest and Off-Road Activity Ban (HOAB) are bans that are issued through the Shire that stipulate vehicle movement can only take place under specific conditions. Western Power being an essential has an exemption for urgent works. Western Power have their own internal policy/procedures around working on during a HOAB but the Shire does not restrict them in any way.
has been a busy month for the Shire of Irwin, with staff having to navigate and assist the community in traversing this new COVID-19 reality. As I am sure you are aware we are now operating under higher caseload environment COVID-19 protocols with level 2 public health measures introduced state-wide on March 3.
For a full rundown on these upgraded public health and social measures you can visit www.wa.gov.au/government/announcements/level-2-public-health-measures-introduced-state-wide-thursday-3-march WA has also moved to very high caseload settings to ensure continuity of operations for critical industries as COVID-19 cases approach the peak.
This means some critical workers who are close contacts but not experiencing any symptoms can work through their isolation period. The affected workers will need to return a negative rapid antigen test daily, wear a surgical mask when at work or travelling outside the home, and self-isolate when not at work.
The rules were already in place for some workers, include police and those in healthcare, but now they will apply to many more industries, including freight and logistics and schools.
For more information visit www.wa.gov.au/government/ announcements/very-high-caseload-settings-introduced-western-australia
The WA State Government has released a booklet with detailed information on how to prepare and manage COVID-19 you can find the booklet at www.wa.gov.au/system/files/2022-03/Managing-COVID-19-booklet.pdf or on the Shire of Irwin website.
Having met with representatives from Mitsui E&P Australia (MEPAU) last month, it seems things are progressing for the Waitsia Gas Project Stage 2 since they held their ground-breaking ceremony in October last year.
In January Clough, who are delivering the engineering, procurement, and construction for the project, announced that bulk earthworks and piling were now complete. Steel erection is under way, and concrete works, pipe and mechanical equipment were also due to start.
The Waitsia gas field is ranked one of the largest gas fields ever discovered onshore in Australia and it is anticipated to bring significant economic benefits to our region during both the construction and operating phases.
Mitsui E&P Australia (MEPAU) contributes enormously to the Mid West economy with a commitment to engaging a local workforce, utilising local businesses for supply and service contracts and through community partnerships.
Project tender opportunities can be found at www.australiantenders.com.au/
Production from Waitsia Stage 2 is expected to commence in the 2nd half of 2023, producing natural gas to supply both domestic and the international market.
With a heavy heart that I pass on my condolences to the Baskerville family from everyone at the Shire of Irwin. The accident that took the lives of Lindsay and Val was tragic and their loss will be felt deeply throughout the community in which they were so actively involved.
Our thoughts are with their family and friends – they will be sorely missed.
To download the latest version of the Shire President report click here