02 June 2023
Shire President Update
This month Council approved a 5.9% rate raise in the 2023/24 Budget to allow us to continue delivering high quality services and projects to the community.
To calculate rates to be charged, Council multiplies a rate in the dollar by the supplied value. The rate in the dollar is determined by the level of revenue the Council needs to raise and is dependent on its adopted budget.
This year UV valuations were up by an average of 22.96% due to excellent seasonal conditions and strong commodity prices, leading to a high demand for agriculture properties.
We understand inflation has increased cost of living pressure, and because of this we've kept the rate rise as low as possible, however inflation has also affected the cost of materials and services council uses, in some instances by up to 30%.
I think it is important to note that over the past six years we have increased rates by an average of 2%, which is well below CPI, with zero rate rises during the COVID period.
The 2023/24 Budget has forecasted a $1.3m increase capital works expenditure. This extra allocation will allow us to undertake projects that are a key priority for the community such as the ongoing upgrades and maintenance grading of the entire unsealed, rural road network.
Rates revenue accounts for approximately 65-70% of Council’s total operating revenue. Council and Shire staff work hard to leverage as much revenue from sources other than rates to minimise rate payments, including fees and charges and capital grants and contributions.
Rates allow the Shire to deliver essential services and projects such as:
- the upkeep and maintenance of infrastructure such as roads, footpaths, street lighting, bushland, river and foreshores,
- bin collections and run Transfer Station,
- support local businesses and organisations,
- community and recreation services including libraries, youth facilities, parks and reserves,
- and community events and activity programs.
Council has processes in place for people struggling to pay their rates. Further information about these initiatives can be found on our website.
Work has begun on our new Kailis Drive Entry Statement. The site has been cleared and a five-metre wall constructed ready for the installation. I would like to commend Shire staff and Council who have been working hard to bring this project to fruition.
This month we held Community Consultation sessions where we gave progress updates on our Strategic Community Plan and gave the community the opportunity to express their opinion on major local projects such as the recreational jetty, the boat ramp design, and the Surf Beach Revitalisation project.
The Port Denison Foreshore Masterplan, Irwin River Walking Trail Amenity Upgrades Masterplan and the Extended Entry Statement Masterplan, which have been guided by the community were also available for comment as was the Shire of Irwin’s Local Planning Strategy that will act as a guide for the progressive development of the Shire over the next 10 to 15 years.
We had a good turn out and positive feedback at both sessions and I would like to thank those community members who were able to come along.
New Water Tanks
Last year the Shire of Irwin has received a $100 000 grant through the WA Government’s Community Water Supply Program.
The grant was to help the Shire of Irwin expand emergency water supplies with the construction of three new water tanks, two new bores and an upgrade of an existing bore - helping the community to better prepare for the impacts of climate change.
The three new tanks have now been installed at Mount Adams, Springfield and Allanooka.
The Shire of Irwin’s Community Emergency Water Supply Project will provide the community with a strategic water storage and supply of non-scheme water for livestock welfare, firefighting operations, and limited rural roads maintenance.
The Irwin Rec Centre gym has had an upgrade! A whole range of new equipment was installed this month including a range of new cardio gear and plate and pin loaded weight equipment.
The Irwin Rec Centrecan help you meet all your fitness needs and being a member assures that you receive a highly professional and educated approach to fitness delivery.
Every membership gives you unlimited access to the Fitness Centre and access to morning circuit classes so if you have been thinking about taking charge of your fitness and health now is the time!
For more information on how to join the Irwin Rec Centre Gym visit http://www.irwin.wa.gov.au/community.../irwin-rec-centre...
Western Australia’s low unemployment rate is starting to impact local projects with Beach Energy announcing its Waitsia Stage 2 project will be delayed due to labour shortages. The company says it unclear on when it will be able to deliver gas to customers. The Waitsia project was expected to begin producing by the end of 2023. Earlier this year, Beach Energy announced the project had been hampered by the collapse of Clough.
“The tight labour market in Western Australia in particular has impacted construction progress at the Waitsia Gas Plant to create a range of uncertainty in outcomes that means Beach no longer considers it prudent or appropriate to maintain its previously targeted schedule and capital estimates,” the company said.
WA unemployment currently sits at 3.6 per cent, which is lower than the national level of 3.7 per cent.
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