Media releases

Fire agencies released planned autumn burn schedule

Fire agencies including Shire of Augusta Margaret River, Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions, Department of Fire and Emergency Services, will shortly commence important planned autumn burning activities.
These planned burns are critical for reducing fuel loads surrounding town sites in order to reduce impact of wild fires on homes and other infrastructure should they occur.
Burns planned for the local government area in April and May (weather and risk conditions permitting) include:

Alexandra Bridge (Fire Station Reserve)

Augusta (Blackwood Ave/Osnaburg St)

Augusta (Caves Rd/Bussell Hwy

Cowaramup (Ellen Brook Rd)

Cowaramup (Miamup Rd/Webster Rd)

East Augusta (Pericles St)

Margaret River (Wallcliffe Rd/Kevill Rd)

Margaret River (Railway Tce/Bussell Hwy)  

Margaret River (Roxburgh Rd - Pony Club)  

Margaret River (Bussell Hwy/Maxwell St)

Margaret River (Kevill Rd West/Zani Pl)

Molloy Island (Dalton Way/Warrior Way)

Community Emergency Services Manager Chris Lloyd said temporary access restrictions around the sites, and the resultant smoke, may cause some inconvenience but the goal was to provide a safer community for the longer term.
“We are being very targeted in our selection of reserves that need fire risk mitigation this autumn,” he said.
“These locations have been selected for their close proximity to major assets including homes and infrastructure.
“It’s always a delicate balance to preserve environmental values and amenity with community safety.
“As always we aim to conduct low heat ground fuel mosaic burns to best provide for biodiversity conservation.”
The production of smoke can have impacts on some people’s health and this can be reduced by:

Removing yourself from the area (visit friends and family in other areas)

Stay indoors, with windows and doors closed, or stay in air-conditioned premises, if possible

Bring in washing

Plan not to drive during the burn, or if driving turn car air conditioning to recycle

Avoid vigorous exercise, especially if you have asthma or a lung condition.

Cover your nose and mouth with a mask designed to filter fine particles. Use a mask rated either P1 or P2. These are available from hardware stores. P2 masks are more effective in blocking the finest particles, however any mask has to be worn correctly over the nose and mouth to protect you.

Reduce speeds and follow traffic instructions

For more detailed planned burn information visit
For real time information visit and monitor

The new Chief Executive Officer for the Shire of Augusta Margaret River was today announced as Stephanie Addison-Brown.
Ms Addison-Brown will come to the Shire from the City of Bunbury where she has served as the Director of Corporate and Community Services for seven years and the Director Planning and Development for one year.
Her wealth of experience includes implementing ‘Smart Cities’ initiatives, running Bunbury Wildlife Park, and overseeing the Bunbury City Library, Withers Library, Bunbury Museum and Heritage Centre, Bunbury Regional Art Gallery, Bunbury Visitor Centre, and the South West Sports Centre.
She has steered major city projects, strategies and initiatives alongside her fellow colleagues on the Executive Leadership Team.
Ms Addison-Brown has expressed her delight at being identified as the preferred candidate from the 45 applications received.
“I am both excited and privileged to have been given this wonderful opportunity by Council, and am very much looking forward to joining the AMR team at the end of July,” she said.
“The Council has a clear vision and mission to create a sustainable future for its community by protecting the natural environment, strengthening communities, fostering local economic prosperity and responsibly managing the community’s infrastructure and assets, and it will be my role to work with Council, the Shire team, the community and a range of other stakeholders to deliver this.”
Shire of Augusta Margaret River President Pam Townshend said Council has absolute confidence Ms Addison-Brown has the right depth and breadth of experience to guide the administration into the future.
“We are very pleased so have secured a leader of Stephanie’s calibre,” she said.
“It is also wonderful to have found someone so close to the region who has such a deep understanding of our local community and environment.
“I congratulate Stephanie on her appointment and extend to her our warmest welcome to the Shire.”
Ms Addison-Brown has provided a biography of her work and life experiences for more information.
I originally grew up in a village in Devon in the UK where I spent much of my childhood riding horses and hiking out on Dartmoor National Park. This is where my love of the natural environment began, and I have continued my passion for the great outdoors ever since.
After finishing school, I completed a BA (Hons) Philosophy at the University of Reading, followed by post-graduate management studies with the UK’s Civil Service College. I subsequently spent the next few years living and working in London, Sydney and Christchurch (NZ), with plenty of international travel in between.
Before coming to Australia, I worked for Lonely Planet (the global, ethical travel guide publishers) where I was the UK office manager for a global office which managed publications for countries and regions in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
After emigrating to Australia in 2004, I joined the team at the City of Mandurah and over the next seven years I worked on strategy, corporate performance, organisational culture, economic development, tourism and marketing.
In 2011, I moved to the City Bunbury to join the Executive Leadership Team where I am currently the Director Corporate and Community Services (although I spent a year as Director Planning and Development overseeing the lodgement of the City’s Local Planning Strategy and Local Planning Scheme 8 and ongoing work to establish the Preston River to Ocean Regional Park).
My current role includes a wide and varied range of portfolio areas from implementation of ‘Smart Cities’ initiatives to running the Bunbury Wildlife Park, plus most of the other things you might expect to find within a regional city portfolio (Bunbury City Library, Withers Library, Bunbury Museum and Heritage Centre, Bunbury Regional Art Gallery, Bunbury Visitor Centre, public art installations, sport and recreation including the South West Sports Centre and other sporting facilities, events, public relations, community development including youth, access, reconciliation, community engagement, customer service, corporate information, ICT, grants and so on). I also help steer major city projects, strategies and initiatives alongside my fellow colleagues on the Executive Leadership Team.
My son Ben is almost 15, and we have two horses at home (one was a rescue who is now very happy and healthy!). We currently live in Gelorup, but will be moving to the Shire later this year.
I am both excited and privileged to have been invited to join the team at AMR Shire, and look forward to working with everyone as we collectively drive a sustainable future for the community.

It is expected a new Shire Chief Executive Officer will be imminently announced following the scheduling of a confidential Special Meeting of Council at 10.30am on Friday 5 April 2019 to formally appoint the position.
The intent of the Special Meeting is to resolve to provide an offer of a contract to the preferred candidate, with public announcement of the new chief pending return of the signed final contract offer.
Shire of Augusta Margaret River President Pam Townshend said she is hoping the announcement could be made as early as Friday afternoon or Monday morning.
“Council is very happy to be nearing the end of what has been an intensive and rigorous process of selecting the right local for the administration, and for the community it serves,” she said.
“We had a number of very high calibre applicants with five candidates selected for interview from the 45 applicants.
“We are now eagerly awaiting the commencement of the selected candidate and look forward to working alongside them as the new Shire administration leader as we continue partnering with Augusta Margaret River’s vibrant, engaged and sustainable community.
“We will make the public announcement as soon as we possibly can.”
The CEO’s position description and the selection criteria are based on the core principles listed in the Shire’s guiding document, the Community Strategic Plan 2036, which are listed as sustainability, financial viability, access and equity, climate change, social justice and technology and innovation.
The Shire’s previous CEO, Gary Evershed retired from the role in November 2018, with Acting CEO Dr Dale Putland providing interim leadership until the permanent appointment is commenced. 

Community members are invited to two project briefing walks along the Gracetown foreshore to learn more about the drafting of a Coastal Management Plan for the site, and to contribute local knowledge to the project.

The walks will be hosted by environmental consultant Drew McKenzie with support from Shire of Augusta Margaret River staff and are scheduled for Saturday 6 April 2019 as follows:

  • 1pm - meet at the Huzzas Carpark walking the South  Point track, Huzzas and Melaleuca Beach
  • 3pm - meet at the Northpoint Jetty walking to swimmers Beach and Cowaramup Brook

Shire Environment Officer Merryn Delaney said the Coastal Management Plan aims to develop recommendations on issues such as beach access, weed management, revegetation and recreational facilities along the foreshore reserves.

The foreshore areas encompassed in the Plan include Northpoint boat ramp through to Southpoint and Huzzas including Melaleuca Beach, Swimmers Beach and the lower portion of Cowaramup Brook.

“The development of this plan is an important step in protecting and restoring the diverse range of values of the Bay,” she said.  

“The plan will help us prioritise future management actions and help us seek funding to implement those actions.

“Gracetown and Cowaramup Bay are such special places to many people - we really encourage community input.”

Community members interested in contributing their ideas regarding the management of the foreshore are also encouraged to email their concerns and suggestions to by Friday 26 April 2019.

Once in first draft form, Council will consider the Plan for a formal consultation period at which point community members can provide further comment and feedback. 

RSVPs are not required for the walks but participants are asked to bring appropriate footwear, hats and water.

For more information of the project, please contact the Shire on 9780 5255.

Community members and health support service providers are being invited to comment on a University of Newcastle and Lishman Foundation report which considers how to better support mental health and wellbeing in the Shire of Augusta Margret River.

Completed by a specialist researcher from the University of Newcastle’s Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health, the report is the result of interviews with more than 100 local community members, support service workers and health practitioners.

The Lishman Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer Dianne Ritson said the intent of the report was to map existing services, identify gaps, look at opportunities for service integration, and consider new programs and initiatives.

“A significant part of this project has been trying to better understand the factors associated with mental illness and suicide in the local community,” she said.

“If we can better understand the influences we can start to look at more prevention initiatives and ways of improving mental health support services.

“We want this report to translate into real outcomes for the community.”

The report is a result of a partnership between The Lishman Health Foundation, the University of Newcastle and the Shire of Augusta Margaret River.

Anyone interested in in viewing the report can access it at

Community sessions will also be held to discuss the project at the following times and locations:

  • 5.30pm, Monday 11 March 2019 at the Riversmith cafe, Margaret River
  • 4.30pm Tuesday 12 March 2019 at the Augusta Historical Museum
  • 5.30pm Thursday 14 March 2019 at the Black Sheep Cafe, Cowaramup

RSVPs are not required to attend the sessions.

Submissions regarding the report can be emailed to amrshire@amrshire.wa, and must be received by 31 March 2019.


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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


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Ph 08 9780 5255


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