Media releases

A full contingent of staff for the launch phase of Margaret River HEART are now on board following the last week’s commencement of the new General Manager Nicky Hansen and Volunteer Coordinator Rebecca Young.
Ms Hansen, who was announced for the role late last year, has hit the ground running with inductions, training, and stakeholder meetings, with her attention quickly turning to addressing scheduling and programming.
“At the moment the priority is to ensure the influx of enquiries we are receiving are categorised and triaged for calendar placement,” she said.
“Once we get an overall view of the requests received we will be able to identify the different usage types, the spaces required for those bookings, the dates and the required associated resources, equipment and staffing support they each require.
“That will then put us in a position of being able to gradually respond to bookings and provide better surety to both the events and activity organisers, and the community.”
Ms Hansen said she is aware the community is keen to see the building brought up to full operation capacity as soon as possible.
“I love that locals are so eager and excited to see arts and culture thrive in the region,” she said.
“There such a great sense of ownership over the building which is exactly what will ultimately ensure the success of the venue.
“The challenge in the early stages is having to slowly gear operations to ensure we are able to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for people using the centre.
“It’s also really important to me to make sure there is equitable and sustainable use between business and community events.
“We can’t lose our grassroots focus – it’s what creates the soul of an entertainment centre.”
Now the full contingent of launch staff are on board, Ms Hansen said there is already rapid progress being made across all aspects of centre operations.
“The team members we’ve got are all passionate local community members, who want to see HEART become a success for everyone,” Ms Hansen said.
“Most of the team members are on either short term contracts or are casual, secondment or volunteer positions.
“This structure will allow for a flexible and responsive workforce as requirements change and develop, and centre operations gear up.”
Ms Hansen said more announcements about centre programs and activities will be made to the community in the near future.
Follow the Margaret River HEART facebook page to stay up-to-date on centre news, programs and events.
A summary of current operational activities at the centre is:

HEART staff are working closely with Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association on a pro-active destination marketing plan for Margaret River HEART. These events are intended to bring in returns for the centre to subsidise community usage of the centre.
Community grants
The first rounds of community grants funding applications have been assessed. Staff are writing to successful recipients and a public announcement will be made next week.
The team are also developing more centre wayfinding and instructional signage to assist with a more seamless user experience with the centre.
Venue systems
The HEART team is currently setting up our ticketing systems. They are also building a venue management system, that will ultimately be used for all events in the Shire. This ensures effective management of logistics in the case of multiple events being held in any one location – eg. ensuring enough parking is available for a skatepark event, football event and conference vent to be held concurrently.  
A register has been established for people interested in volunteering. Ten volunteers were inducted in time to assist with the recent events with The Waifs concernts  and more will be selected and inducted for upcoming events on an as-needs basis. Volunteer Coordinator Rebecca Young has started the development volunteer engagement strategy. Anyone wishing to add their details to the register can email
Kiosk and catering
Support staff are determining the kiosk set up and are working to achieve purchasing systems and stock levels. The team is working on a list of preferred catering suppliers.
Technical team
The technical team was on board in time for the recent concerts by The Waifs. The team is now preparing for Margaret River Theatre Group’s pantomime production which starts this week. This includes rehearsals for sound and light and technical systems. The team is also in the throes of writing new operating procedures and manuals for all the new tech gear that was fitted into the building. Some systems still need testing and adjustments, and this week the piano tuning was completed by a contractor.
Marketing staff are currently developing a suite of corporate stationary, venue marketing materials and content for a new centre website. Additional marketing channels are currently being set up to enable content dispersal to different audiences. Several suites of venue marketing materials are being developed for different user groups including for community groups, and business conferencing organisers.
Upcoming events
There are a number of exhibitions scheduled to take the centre through until late in the year. We are in contract negotiations for several more events and concerts but are unable to announce specifics until we have approval from the promoters.
An open day is being planned for the near future to encourage more community members to come in and experience the Margaret River HEART. 

Art enthusiasts are being encouraged to pop into Margaret River HEART to catch the textiles and assemblage exhibition titled ‘Look Around You’ by emerging local artist Linda Every.
It will be the last chance to see many of the pieces displayed in public after a highly successful opening week saw over 50% of the 35 pieces snapped up by private buyers.
Shire of Augusta Margaret River HEART General Manager Nicky Hansen said she was pleased that the first solo exhibition to be held in the centre since opening was so well received by the public.
“They are incredibly beautiful works and the kind of pieces that would just sit well in a range of settings,” she said.
“This exhibition has really made the centre come to life, and given it a sense of warmth and welcome. 
“I can see people getting drawn over to the pieces when they come into the centre for shows or different activities.
“It been quite the talking point and we feel rather lucky to be able to get a collection of this calibre and popularity off the bat.”
Ms Every said she felt mostly relieved to see that people were taking such enjoyment from the exhibition seeing as it has been her labour of love for over 12 months now.
“You never know how your work is going to be received so I feel quite overwhelmed at the positive feedback I’ve received,” she said.
“People seems to be most taken by the colours of the textile pieces and which are all created by using natural ingredients in fabric dying process. 
“I’m pleased people are enjoying the collection as it’s really just intended to be joyous and pretty and happy.
Ms Every’s assemblage art pieces have already sold out but she hopes community members will take time to see the pieces before the close of the exhibition later this month.
“The assemblage art is made by gathering items within an environment, and grouping them on a canvas to draw attention to otherwise unnoticed colours, patterns, and beauty. 
“These pieces are intended to encourage people to see the amazing in the ordinary that is around them.”
Arts Margaret River Manager Andrew Frith said HEART Margaret River was an ideal showing location for artists. “It’s such a phenomenal space for an exhibition with art works beautifully complementing the building, and the building beautifully showcasing the art,” he said.
“I really encourage members of the public to come in during centre opening hours to see the exhibition.
“The exhibition was curated by the Arts Margaret River Gallery Team, a group of passionate volunteers who do a wonderful job of assisting and mentoring the artists.
“It’s a community space and we want everyone to be able to enjoy free, affordable and accessible arts and culture.”
The exhibition space at Margaret River HEART is open to the public 10am-4pm Monday to Friday (in line with centre opening hours), and can be accessed during after hours event times.
Artists wishing to use the space to exhibit can email
Artists wishing to request Arts Margaret Rivers support in booking and curating their exhibition can email
New QR purchasing system
Thanks to a new smartphone QR purchasing application, community members are now also able to self-purchase any works installed as part of an Arts Margaret River curated exhibition.
“It completely streamlines the process, there’s no chance of the piece going through two points of sale,” he said.
“For buyer it mean you can purchase at your leisure.
“There’s instantaneous pricing, no wait times for assistance, and no queues for payment.
“It changed the way we are doing business with the community for the better.”

Linda Every

Bin collection company Cleanaway have struck a deal with South Metropolitan Regional Council (SMRC) to recommence recycling processing, following last week’s announcement that loads were being temporarily diverted to landfill due to a breakdown in their contract negotiations.
Cleanaway, who collects kerbside waste and recycling for the Shire of Augusta Margaret River, lost their major metropolitan Materials Recovery Facility in a major fire in November last year.
Following the incident, Cleanaway had achieved interim arrangements for SMRC to process recycling on their behalf until late January 2020, but talks to extend the arrangement stalled.
Shire of Augusta Margaret River Sustainable Planning Director Dr Dale Putland said he had been very concerned that the breakdown in negotiations meant local recycling was going to landfill, and was relieved to receive notice early this morning that SMRC would recommence processing of Shire recycling.
“We are awaiting details of the revised contract and terms but what we do know is that processing of locally collected recycling will recommence from Monday 17 February 2020,” he said.
“This will serve as a huge relief for the residents of the Shire who have done so well to adapt to the new three-bin service, and have achieved such a high resource recovery rate since its inception.
“We can now turn our attention as a community to reducing contamination in our bins to ensure as much recycling as possible is able to be recovered, and ultimately repurposed and reused.”
Cleanaway have advised that locally collected kerbside recycling will be taken to their Picton Waste Transfer station before being sent on to the SMRC facility.
The Shire will advise the community at the earliest opportunity should more information become available or the situation changes.
“Thank you for your patience and understanding while the Shire has worked with the contractors and stakeholders to resolve this matter as quickly as possible,” Dr Putland.
“Please continue the good recycling work you have done to date.”
To keep up to date on community news and information follow the Shire’s facebook page
For information about the Shire’s three-bin collection service and in reducing waste follow the The Best We've Ever Bin campaign on facebook. 


The Shire of Augusta Margaret River is appealing to anyone with information about the vandalism of traffic management signage and devices on Margaret River’s Main Street to contact the police.

On Friday 7 and Saturday 8 February, traffic and detour signs were moved into the middle of live lanes, ‘road closed’ signage moved to face the opposite direction, sand bags emptied into the road and signage destroyed.

Shire President Ian Earl said the damage was dangerous and costly with the potential to blow out the tight schedule of works.

“What we saw on Friday and Saturday night was malicious and could have caused an accident.

“It’s a drain on Shire resources and costs money to clean up, with ratepayers ultimately footing the bill.

“Cleaning up the mess is also a distraction for the contractor. The time they are spending on making the site operational again takes away from them being able to get on with the works.

“Our community has been waiting a long time for this project to begin. The new roundabouts near the high school and at Tunbridge Street/Churchill Avenue will make both intersections much easier and safer to cross.

“The entire length of the Main Street will have critical new stormwater drainage installed to address flooding issues, which is a huge undertaking.

“We are running against the clock to install stormwater pits and pipes at the north end of town before the onset of winter weather, so we need the contractors to be able to focus their full attention on getting the job done.

“Thank you to those who are following the detours and remaining patient.

“Whilst this will be a long project with works taking over a year, the end result will be well worth it,” he said.

For more information on the project and stages visit
If you have any further information, please contact the police on 13 14 44.

The Shire of Augusta Margaret River and waste contractors Cleanaway are in urgent talks to discuss the immediate future of the kerbside recycling service following advice their collections would now be taken to landfill.

Cleanaway’s recycling collections were being taken to their South Guildford processing facility, but when a fire destroyed their $25m plant last November an interim arrangement was made to access the South Metropolitan Regional Council (SMRC) plant.

Shire of Augusta Margaret River Director Sustainable Development Dale Putland said these interim arrangements ended on 24 January 2020, with talk of a longer term arrangement between the parties stalling due to disagreements over contract terms.

“This is concerning news for the Shire and our residents who have really adapted well to the new three-bin service to achieve excellent resource recovery rates,” he said.

“We will not accept recycling going into landfill and our staff are working with urgency and immediacy towards an acceptable solution.”

Mr Putland said that the Shire has been advised that 20 local governments were affected by the situation and the Western Australian Environment Minister, the Western Australia Local Government Association, and the Department of Waste and Environmental Regulation were assisting Cleanaway and affected parties to resolve the issue.  

“The good news is there is a lot of appetite to find a solution and implement any required changes as quickly as possible,” he said.

“More news is coming to light on an hourly and daily basis and we are working to stay abreast of the situation.”

Mr Putland urged local residents to please keep sorting their waste into their bins as per normal as recycling processing could restart with limited notice.

“The issue is solely with the yellow bins,” he said,

“Please reduce consumption where possible and continue sorting appropriately so that when processing restarts we aren’t contributing towards any contamination of our recycling materials.

“Remember you can also place paper and cardboard in your lime green lid FOGO bin.”

The Shire will update the community on the matter as soon as new information is available. 

A Council report to approve collection centres to enable Shire residents to participate in a container recycling scheme is being expedited to enable the community an additional cash-back recycling options for some recyclables.

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