Media releases

The Shire of Augusta Margaret River Council resolved to forward its new draft Local Planning Strategy to the Western Australian Planning Commission for certification at last night's Ordinary Council Meeting.
The Local Planning Strategy is a document which sets a vision for the size, look and feel of the Shire’s neighbourhoods, towns and natural areas over a 10 to 15-year period. The strategy sets a direction for future planning to manage population growth, and establishes policy positions that flow through to day-to-day decision making.
The draft Strategy was informed by an extensive pre-consultation process undertaken over 12 months. In making their decision to support the draft, Council thanked all of the individuals and groups who have provided input throughout the pre-consultation period and encouraged the community to continue to engage in the consultation process.
Once certified the document will be subject to a further period of consultation. This will provide the opportunity for all interested parties to provide their comments, which will be used to further shape the document so that it can be truly reflective of the community’s vision for the future.
Community members wishing to stay up to date with the process can sign up to the Shire’s project page at

For the second year running the Shire of Augusta Margaret River has been awarded the Most Accessible Community in WA, under the Regional Shire/Town Category.

Presented by the Regional Capitals Alliance of WA, the award acknowledges the Shire’s commitment to improving access and inclusion for all our community, including people with a disability.

  • The Awards were judged on 4 criteria, these being:
  • Improve the accessibility of Council infrastructure and public open space;
  • Inclusive communication technology and information initiatives;
  • Accessible and inclusive Council services, programs and events;
  • Exercises leadership and influences community attitudes and perceptions. 

Shire Community Development Officer, Katie Taylor said “The ongoing success of the Shire's commitment in this area is largely due to a culture of access and inclusion across the organisation that importantly comes from the top down. Staff have the knowledge and are passionate about ensuring our services, infrastructure and programs are inclusive and accessible for everyone to participate.”

The award recognises Councils that go above and beyond the statutory access requirements and that are adaptive and responsive to community needs.

The Shire was commended on their range of inclusive programs and services, strong employment focus and on their active Community Access and Inclusion Reference Group that ensures people with disability are involved throughout all major Shire redevelopments and projects.

“The inclusivity of key community services such as the Margaret River Recreation Centre and the Shire Libraries has been widely recognised. These facilities have a strong culture of inclusion, staff are flexible with their service and open to collaborating with people with disabilities in implementing innovative programs which enables people with a disability to participate equally alongside other members of the community. “

“This is evident in the significant number of people with a disability being regular users of the library, gym, pool and exercise rooms, and having regular social lunches in the rec centre café.”

Other highlights include:

The Shire’s commitment to becoming a Dementia Friendly Community;

A Socially Inclusive Communities Project with Inclusion Solutions to ensure inclusivity of local sporting clubs;

Meeting onsite and participating in walking audits with people with disability to ensure pathways, roads and kerb ramps are accessible, connected and well maintained;

Developing staff awareness and skills for providing good customer service to people with a disability;

Strong engagement with the AMR Community Access and Inclusion Reference Group (over 100 members);

Accessibility inputs to the recent HEART Precinct development and the upcoming Main Street Redevelopment Projects;

Encouraging accessible community and Shire run events with people with disability involved in event planning and implementation; and

Being innovative in our approach, collaborating with people with a disability in order to ensure community infrastructure and public open spaces are useable and welcoming for everyone.

The Shire is committed to continue to create and foster an inclusive and accessible community for all to live, work, play, invest and visit, whilst also recognising the importance of working in collaboration with the community to break down social barriers to inclusion and to drive sustainable change from within the community itself.
For more information on the award or to discuss further access and inclusion strategies please contact Community Development Officer Katie Taylor on 9780 5255 or by email at

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Local homeowners who are interested in making their homes more environmentally-friendly can ‘speed-date’ a sustainability expert at a special residential design event on Thursday 1 August  2019 at the Margaret River Library.
Event attendees can meet up to four sustainability experts for 10 minutes each, and use their ‘date’ time to ask questions about sustainable design, waste water treatment or solar power, get feedback on prospective plans, or seek inspiration for a future project with no obligation to see the expert again.
Participating sustainability experts include:

  • Tom Dowling – Dowling Architects
  • Paul McDonald - Matthews McDonald Architects
  • Michael Sorensen - Sorensen Architects
  • Paul O'Reilly – Archterra
  • Anthony Smith – Water Wally and Eco Wastewater Solutions
  • Steve Best – Low Carbon Energy Solutions

Sustainable design advocate and volunteer event organiser Susan Elton encouraged all prospective homeowners and renovators to attend the free event.
“There’s a perception that sustainable design is expensive and is really only ever applied for bigger budget homes,” she said.
“My hope is that this event shows people how small, simple changes can reduce the environmental footprint of the home, reduce running costs, reduce build cost and make for more comfortable living.
“We hope people who wouldn’t necessarily engage an architect pop in a have a quick conversation on their new home, renovation or future project.
“It will just put them in a position to consider advice about sustainability, design and functionality from industry professionals and hopefully adopt some of the recommended measures.”
‘Dating’ timeslots start from 6pm and bookings to be made at
‘Speed-dating’ an architect is the second of six monthly sustainability workshops to be held at the Margaret River Library, that focus on different ways we can each live a little lighter on this earth.
Other sessions topics include:

  • Make your own cleaning and beauty products
  • An introduction to beekeeping
  • What to grow, how to grow it, and how to preserve it
  • Christmas sorted – low impact style

This is a community initiative proudly supported by the Shire of Augusta Margaret River.
For further information please contact Susan Elton on

The Shire’s Library Service is pleased to announce that it has been successful in obtaining a second Be Connected: Building Digital Skills grant from the Federal Government.
The grant is administered by the Good Things Foundation, and aims to encourage over-50s to build on their digital skills.
A Shire spokesperson said the libraries have been offering free one-on-one digital tutoring for over-50s since January with the first program delivery grant.
“The program has been extraordinarily popular, resulting in a waiting list of people who are keen to increase their digital participation and waiting to access a tutor,” a Shire spokesperson said.
“This second grant allows us to continue to offer the program for another 6 months.
“We’re now working through the waiting list, and we continue to welcome requests from anybody over 50 who would like to participate.”
The grant requires that all learners complete at least 30 minutes of online learning using the Be Connected self-learning portal.
A tutor is allocated to help each learner to do this, and then a one-on-one session can be scheduled which is directed by the interests of the learner.
“It’s important to have some general digital literacy, but most people then have very specific areas of interest that they want to pursue,” the Shire spokesperson said.
“Some want to learn about social media, while others might be solely interested in exploring the functions of their mobile devices.
“By combining the initial structured lesson with an unstructured, learner-directed session to follow, we hope to meet the varied needs of our older community, and encourage greater digital inclusion.”
Sessions are available at both the Margaret River and Augusta Libraries, and can offer assistance with PCs, laptops, tablets and mobile devices.
Anybody who is interested in learning more is invited to contact the Margaret River Library on 9780 5600 or email

Nearly 200 local primary students will meet award-winning children’s book author and illustrator Frané Lessac on Wednesday 7 August 2019 as part of Children’s Book Week celebrations.
The meetings will take place at the Shire libraries in  Margaret River and Augusta with Frané to present to the students on a range of topics including where ideas come from, how authors do research, and the process of creating picture books.
Every year the Shire libraries participate in Children’s Book Week, during which Children’s Book of the Year awards are announced, by hosting author events for local school students to attend. Children’s Book Week celebrates all the fantastic children’s literature created in Australia, which includes author and illustrator Frané Lessac’s beautiful books.
Schools participating in the visits include Margaret River Primary School, St Thomas More Catholic Primary School, Rapids Landing Primary School and Augusta Primary School.
The ‘Meet the Author/Illustrator’ event is grant-funded by the Children’s Book Council of Australia (WA branch), Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, Lotterywest and Healthway and the Go for 2 & 5 message.
More information about Frané Lessac’s work can be found at
Further details on Children’s Book Week and Book of the Year awards can be found at

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PO Box 61
Margaret River WA 6285

Margaret River

41 Wallcliffe Road
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