Media releases

Beaches in the Shire of Augusta Margaret River between Ellensbrook and North Point in Gracetown will reopen today from 6pm.
 
Shire Rangers and Parks and Wildlife Service Rangers closed beaches earlier in the week following two shark incidents near Lefthanders surf break near Gracetown.
 
“Over the past few days we’ve been working closely with relevant State Government agencies to determine when beaches can reopen,” said Shire Ranger Coordinator Mick O’Regan.
 
“A coordinated decision has been made to reopen beaches this evening.
 
“Agencies will be monitoring shark activity over the weekend, and we urge members of the public to please check for beach closure signs in case new closers occur.”
 
Parts of Hamelin Bay near Augusta have been reopened, however Boranup Beach north of Grace Road to Contos Spring remains closed. As a precaution, Foul Bay will also remain closed.
 
Any public shark sightings should be reported to the Water Police on 9442 8600. This number is staffed 24 hours, seven days a week and will activate any required response.
 
Anyone wishing to receive alerts about shark sightings in the Margaret River area can follow @SLSWA on Twitter or refer to http://sharksmart.com.au/news/shark-warning-for-the-waters-in-the/

General information on sharks is also available online via the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development shark information page at www.fish.wa.gov.au/shark

The Shire of Augusta Margaret River is calling for community input into a major review of its Local Planning Strategy, set to start next month.

Shire Director of Sustainable Development, Dr Dale Putland said the Local Planning Strategy sets a vision for the size, look and feel of neighbourhoods, towns and natural areas within the Shire over a 10-15 year period.

“Over the next 18 months, this important strategy will be reviewed with the help of the community via a series of interactive workshops.

 “Members of the public can have direct input in the way future development happens locally.

“I encourage people that are interested in this issue to get involved and help shape the neighbourhoods and towns of the Shire for the next generation.”

The first workshop on 28 May, themed Planning for Resilience, covers the topics of climate change adaptation, environmental protection, water and renewable energy.

It will feature presentations from Garry Middle from the West Australian Planning Commission, Nicole Hodgson, Lecturer in Sustainability at Murdoch University, and Glen Cook from the Bureau of Meteorology.

Dr Putland said the workshop would be followed by an informal discussion and exchange of ideas among guest speakers, the public and Shire councillors.

“This is your chance to be involved in policy development that will shape the size, look and feel of our neighbourhoods, towns and natural areas of the Shire for the next generation.”

The following series of workshops will run between May and November this year:

Workshop 1 - Planning for resilience (28 May 2018)
Climate Change Adaptation, Environmental Protection, Water and Renewable Energy.
Workshop 2 - The future of food
Subdivision and development controls for agricultural lands.
Workshop 3 - Planning for Local Commerce
Creating a supportive planning environment for small business, sufficiency of land for commerce and industry.
Workshop 4 -The towns and villages of the future – Part 1
Demographic changes, the size and structure of urban areas, protection from bushfire and preserving local character.
Workshop 5 - The town and villages of the future – Part 2
Affordability, infill development and sustainable building design.
Workshop 6   Planning rules – are they delivering the outcomes we want to see?
Land use controls, zoning and the zoning table, signage, the exercise of discretion in decision-making, inclusionary zoning and restrictive covenants.

Workshops will lead to ‘Issues and Options’ Papers’, being released for community feedback, which will guide a revised Strategy and Amendment to the Local Planning Scheme.
 
Local Governments are required to review these planning documents periodically, to ensure they take into account contemporary planning, environmental, economic and social issues.

Visit yoursay.amrshire.wa.gov.au/lps-review for further information and workshop dates.
 

Beachgoers in the Shire of Augusta Margaret River are being urged to please heed beach closure signs following the second shark incident for the day near Lefthanders surf break near Gracetown.
The closure extends from Ellensbrook in the south to the North Point in the north, and from the shoreline to 2km offshore.
Parks and Wildlife Service Rangers and Shire Rangers implemented the closure after this morning’s incident and advise beaches will remain closed until further notice.
“The safety of our community and our visitors is paramount,” Shire Ranger Coordinator Mick O’Regan said.
“We have put up beach closure signs along all major beach access points to ensure everybody is aware of the current danger.
“PaW and Shire Rangers will be patrolling the beaches to further inform the public and enforce the closures.
“Anyone entering the closed beaches may be fined for failing to obey the direction of an authorised person.”
Beaches from Gnarabup to Gnoorcardup remain open for water recreation activities, however, warning signage has been erected in high traffic areas to advise swimmers of the recent incidents.
Fisheries and Water Police are continuing to monitor the waters in the area.
Should members of the public sight a shark they are asked to please report it to Water Police on 9442 8600. This number is staffed 24 hours, seven days a week and will activate any required response.
Anyone wishing to receive alerts about shark sightings in the Margaret River area can follow @SLSWA on Twitter or refer to http://sharksmart.com.au/news/shark-warning-for-the-waters-in-the/
General information on sharks is also available online via the Department of Fisheries shark information page at www.fish.wa.gov.au/shark

Construction works at the Margaret River Youth Precinct have been progressing well to-date, with the additional landscaping and shade shelter works now underway. 

Shire Human and Community Services Manager Nigel Anderson said "with all things going well the Shire expects to have the site handed to the community by mid-May."

"We have really appreciated the public’s patience during the construction period which has enabled workers to concentrate on completing the project as quickly as possible.

"However, unfortunately there have been some people illegally entering and damaging the construction site which has taken workers away from their important work in order to fix the damage.

"I remind people that the Margaret River Youth Precinct is a construction site and those people found onsite without authorisation are in fact trespassing, so please respect the warning signs that are there for your own safety," he said.

"Thanks to everyone who has respected the site, you will soon be able to enjoy arguably one of WA's premier parks!"

Security surveillance cameras are being installed at the Margaret River Youth Precinct, which may be used to assist any trespass investigations.

To stay informed on the project please register at yoursay.amrshire.wa.gov.au

The Restricted Burning Period in the Shire of Augusta Margaret River commenced as planned on 14 March 2018 and will continue through until 12 May 2018 (unless otherwise amended).

Shire Chief Bush Fire Control Officer, David Holland said the special conditions initially declared for the period would be lifted as of 12.01am on Friday 16 March 2018.

“All other requirements normally associated with the Restricted Burning Period will be in place, this includes no campfires allowed on public land.

“However, campfires are permitted on private property during the Restricted Burning Period between 6pm and 11pm with consent of the landowner or occupier.”

Applications for ‘Permits to burn’ will now be considered.

Fire permits can be obtained from your local Fire Control Officer (FCO).

Please refer to the 2017/18 Fuel Hazard Reduction and Firebreak Notice for more information, and for your local FCO’s contact details.

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Margaret River WA 6285

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