Media releases

The Shire of Augusta Margaret River community are invited to attend an information session to address safety concerns at critical cliff sites along our limestone coastline.

These sessions will include a presentation from the Shire’s consultant Geotechnical Engineer who will explain more about recent limestone cliff assessments and the recommended actions at sites including Riflebutts, Surfers Point, Gnarabup and Gracetown.

Shire President Ian Earl said the information sessions are an opportunity for the community to gain a better understanding about the risk of rock fall along our fragile limestone coastline.

“Our Shire is home to a number of incredible limestone rock cliffs and caves.

“However, limestone by nature is a soft rock and can become unstable over time.

“Knowing where the areas of concern are, understanding the risks and taking safety precautions can go a long way to preventing serious accidents," he said.

Session dates

  • 4-6pm Monday 3 February 2020, Gracetown Community Hall
  • 4-6pm Tuesday 4 February 2020, Sea Garden Prevelly
  • 4-6pm Thursday 27 February 2020, Sea Garden Prevelly
  • 4-6pm Friday 28 February 2020, Gracetown Community Hall

A plan to address safety concerns at critical cliff sites along the Shire’s coastline was endorsed by the Council on 11 December 2019. This resulted in a temporary fence and signage being immediately installed at Riflebutts to caution community members of the risk of rockfall along the northern end of the beach, as well as further signage installed at Gnarabup and Surfers Point.

Investigations in 2019 resulted in four key actions being recommended for immediate action:

  • Removal of a small overhang at Gracetown.
  • Installation of additional fencing and signage at Surfers Point with possible future underpinning of an overhang near the main beach access stairs.
  • Installation of a protection fence at Riflebutts consisting of high tensile wires and posts that extend from the toe of the cliff into the surf zone.
  • Underpinning of the overhang under the concrete stairs that lead from the upper carpark down towards the café at Gnarabup.

The new works follow on from modifications made to stairs at Gracetown and Surfers Point and additional signage installed throughout the Shire in 2017.

For more information and to RSVP to a community session please visit, or contact John McKinney on (08) 9780 5255.

The full contingent of the technical team at the Margaret River HEART has now been recruited with the seven new staff members completing intensive inductions into the centre this week.
Technical Supervisor Phil Bebb said the team members, who were selected from a competitive application process, would form a technical talent pool to draw from on an as-needs basis.
“The centre has been refurbished with industry standard digital lights, audio, cinema, and state of the art technical equipment,” he said.
“We’ve recruited to cover all technical operations streams with staff having a comprehensive experience and skills base between us.
“We are now well-positioned to be able to provide a high level of service to touring shows, and provide the audience with a seamless, enjoyable and immersive experience.”
Mr Bebb said while the centre had more technical staff to draw from, the resourcing load per function had actually decreased as a result of the systems now being digital and integrated.
“We are achieving enormous business efficiencies with the new high tech equipment,” he said.
“What used to take two people to do, now only takes one.
“Even things like adjusting lighting – I used to have to run between the lighting desk and the light, then the lighting desk, back to the light.
“Now it’s a smart application that I can use on my phone.
“It’s great for us, it’s great for the bottom line, and our set-up and turnaround times are infinitely faster which ultimately means we have capacity to do more shows for the wider community.”
The HEART is now gearing up its first major touring shows on 28 and 29 January 2020 with the WAIFs set to perform.
Limited tickets for the event are still available for sale online at
High school graduate recruit
Among the new recruits is 2019 Margaret River High School graduate Harrison Lambert who said he was thrilled to be able to pursue a tech career in his hometown.
“I want to be have a career in the tech industry – this is what I want to do,” he said.
“I was able to get a lot of volunteer experience and a small amount of employment through high school and volunteering in community groups.
“To now be able to get a job in the industry in my hometown is really exciting.
“I feel like I have a good generalist skills base but to be able to work at a best practice centre with the high tech lighting and sound gear is such a great foundation for my future career.
“I love the pace that we work at and have already learnt a lot from Phil and the other team members.”

The sport of hockey is set for future growth in Margaret River following the State Government’s commitment of $334,289 towards the construction of a new synthetic turf half-pitch within the local Gloucester Park sporting precinct.
The funds, which were announced by Minister for Sport and Recreation Mick Murrary on Saturday, are in addition to project contributions made by the Shire of Augusta Margaret River ($293,500), the Margaret River Hockey Club ($175,000) and the Federal Government ($200,000).
Shire of Augusta Margaret River President Ian Earl said he was very pleased to hear the news of the funding injection, saying a new half hockey field was a coup for the whole region.
“A local hockey pitch has been long sought after by the local hockey club whose 150 members travelled to Busselton to train and play,” he said.
“I’m so pleased for both the players and the general community to see the development of sport in our Shire.
“This new hockey pitch offers a different opportunity to be active, healthy, social and engaged.
“It’s not just about current players, but for young kids and prospective players who might be looking for different sporting pursuits to try out locally.
“Thank you to the minister and the state government for contribution.
“We look forward to getting the project underway in the coming months.”
For more information about the announcement please refer to

or contact Ross Verne at the Minister's media department on 6552 6400 or 0437 429 485. 

The newly upgraded courts at the at Margaret River Recreation Centre have now re-opened following a temporary closure during December.

The upgrades focussed on renewing the timber sports floor on the three existing courts to provide for safer and better playing conditions.

Shire of Augusta Margaret River Recreation Operations Manager Dylan Brown said the courts both look good and function beautifully.

“We are pretty excited with how they’ve come up and have already had community feedback noting the vast improvement of the playing surface,” he said.

“The dead spots have been improved, the surface is tackier and feels better underfoot and balls bounce with greater consistency.”

Mr Brown said the timber courts were laid over the previous asphalt courts in the late 1980s and early 1990s and the bearers and spacers had moved over time impacting on the flex and bounce back of the boards during play.

“The courts were usable but this upgrade puts Margaret River to industry standard,” he said.

“It means there is now potential to attract higher tier events to the centre.

“It’s also means our local up and coming athletes are able to train and practice on high standard facilities, enabling better opportunity to progress through the playing ranks.”

The court upgrades included drum sanding the courts, replacing and fixing damaged boards, remarking court lines, and resealing the courts with a hardwearing floor sealer.

The backboard systems on Courts 1 and 2 will be brought into alignment to the new court markings, which now reflect the standard court size.

These final modifications will be finalised before the basketball season recommences.

For court bookings, or to find out more about court sports competitions please contact the Margaret River Recreation Centre on 9780 5620 or email

The Shire of Augusta Margaret River this week sees a handing over of the reins of the Community Development Trainee role with Kate Mann departing the position and Hope Sortras taking the helm.  
The trainee role is a 12-month long position filled annually by a Year 12 graduate who works with Shire staff on projects around youth development, community engagement, event planning and communications.
Kate says while it’s sad to leave the relationships she’s built in the position, she is looking forward to moving to Bunbury to continue her studies and experience living and working in a larger metropolitan centre.  
“I have really enjoyed my time as the 2019 Community Development trainee,” she said.
“It’s provided me with some useful skills and unique opportunities to work with a broad range of community members.
“I’ve learnt the importance of establishing strong relationships and partnerships.
“If I could pass on any departing message it would be that we need to keep empowering young people, giving them opportunities to grow outside the boundaries of our small community.”
Kate counts her memorable moments in the role as

Coordination of the Drug Aware MRSAMM19 youth event for the Shire with the Margaret River Youth Advisory Council (YAC), focused at showcasing the talent of young people in the community as well as providing them with a variety of mental health and drug awareness resources

Planning and running of the Djeran Youth Week Festival in partnership with the Undalup association, encouraging awareness connection to indigenous culture with young people and community

Youth MC for the Community Climate Action summit which involved facilitation of discussion surrounding community action in making sustainable changes

Coordination of the Councilor for a day and Youth Climate summit events  with MRSHS and surrounding Primary Schools

Creation and Implementation of R U OK awareness: Yellow bench project, which saw staff and community awareness of mental health in colleagues

Planning and Assistance with Surfing WA Healthy Habits youth event

South West Mudfest trip coordination, establishing partnership between YAC and Yeah the Boyz youth group

Kav Temperley Songwriting workshop for young musicians in the community

Variety of training opportunities: Media, Cultural Awareness, Access and Inclusion, Mental health, first aid

Coordination of Youth services and activities out of the Youth Precinct in Margaret River.

Incoming trainee Hope says she is excited to start the role, which she applied for with the goal of wanting to know her own community better.
“Working in a local government position at such a young age is nerve racking to me, but I am ready to take on any challenge that this role will show me.”
“Providing learning opportunities and events for young people is something I want to focus on this year,” she said.
“I’m from Augusta so I am hoping to create exciting opportunities for local youths in the south of the Shire and encourage young people to get more involved with the community they live in.”
Hope, who has a range of interests including swimming, music, and environmental and animal welfare, says she wishes to broaden her horizons and learn new life skills.
Community Development Officer and trainee supervisor Jessica Black wishes both girls well for the year ahead.
“Kate has made an invaluable contribution to our Shire and our community’s youth programs,” she said.
“She certainly has a very bright future and we are very proud to be a small part of her journey.
“We warmly welcome Hope and are excited to have such a wonderful asset on our team.
“She has an interesting and diverse background that will stand her, and the Shire, in good stead to deliver some fantastic outcomes for the whole of the community.”

Community Newsletter

Subscribe to receive Notices and Tenders, Jobs Ads, Media Releases, or the Shire’s E-newsletter

Back to top ↑

Contact the Shire

Postal Address

PO Box 61
Margaret River WA 6285

Margaret River

41 Wallcliffe Road
Monday to Friday
Ph 08 9780 5255
Fax 08 9757 2512


66 Allnut Terrace
Monday to Friday
9am-12pm, 1pm-4pm
Ph 08 9780 5255


For contact details for fire, police, bushfire brigades, hospitals, storm damage, power outages, etc please see the emergency contact page

National Relay Service

If you are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment call us through the National Relay Service

Change of details form

To ensure that you receive your Rates Notice on time we need to be updated on changes. You can do this online.