Media releases

Margaret River Library will host award-winning history and folklore author Juliet Marillier for the first stop on her South west libraries tour.

Scheduled for 6pm on Thursday 19 October 2017, the presentation will consider the human relationship and personal journeys of the characters in each of her books and novel series.

Shire of Augusta Margaret River Library Services Coordinator Kerry Darnell said she was pleased to be able to the offer the local community the opportunity to meet and engage with the established author.

“Juliet has won many awards for her writing, including five Aurealis Awards and four Sir Julius Vogel Awards, as well as the American Library Association’s Alex Award and the Prix Imaginales,” she said.

“She is currently working on the Blackthorn and Grim series of historical fantasy-mysteries for adult readers.

“Her earlier books include the Sevenwaters series, set in early medieval Ireland, the Viking duology Saga of the Light Isles, the Bridei Chronicles, set in the kingdom of the Picts, and two series for young adults, the Wildwood books and the Shadowfell books.

“It will be a fantastic opportunity for local book worms, and anyone else with a general interest in history and folklore, to learn a little more about the research, backgrounds and inspiration these books.”

Juliet has been a full-time writer for about 12 years, after working as a music teacher and public servant. She was born in Dunedin, New Zealand – the most Scottish city outside Scotland itself – but now lives in Western Australia.

She is active in her local writing community, mentoring aspiring writers, giving workshops, and serving on the Literary Board of the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers’ Centre. She is a regular contributor to genre writing blog Writer Unboxed.

Juliet is a member of the druid order OBOD (The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids) and her spiritual values are often reflected in her work – the human characters’ relationship with the natural world plays a significant part, as does the power of storytelling to teach and to heal.

When not writing, Juliet is active in the field of animal rescue, and she shares her home with a small pack of rescue dogs. She has four adult children and seven grandchildren.

RSVPs are welcome up to the day of the event by phoning 9780 5600, emailing or dropping into the Margaret River Library on Fearn Ave.

Light refreshments will be included.

The Juliet Marillier author talk is brought to the community by funding from WritingWA.

The Margaret River Youth Precinct will continue its transformation with works to upgrade the skate park set to start on Monday 9 October 2017.
A viewing platform will be set up enabling residents to monitor progress and guided site tours organised at set stages during the construction period.
Skate park users are invited to say ‘adios’ to the existing Margaret River Skate Park at the Adios Skate Park Fiesta celebration on Friday 6 October, until the reopening in approximately six months’ time.
Due to grant funding shortfalls, the precinct masterplan will be delivered in stages, with the first stage toilet renovations and Zone Room access upgrades already completed.
Second stage works include upgrades to the skate park with a 3 meter deep skate bowl, new shade structure and lighting, pump track, BBQ and parkour area, as well as natured based play features.
A plan to deliver the remaining stages will be considered by Council once the detailed designs and costings have been completed.
Shire President Ian Earl asked the public to be patient during the closure and touted the improved facilities to come.
“We all know how much the skate park will be missed during this time,” he said.
“Where possible we encourage you to visit our other skate parks in Cowaramup and Augusta or consider car-pooling between parents and head up to Busselton.”
 “The upgrade will provide an excellent space for young people and families to spend time outdoors and will also open up opportunities to hold large-scale community events and competitions which is a fantastic outcome for our residents.”
Shire Human and Community Services Manager Nigel Anderson said he was impressed by the way design contractors, Convic, had  brought the Community Design Group’s concept plan to life.
“I’d like to thank all those who gave their input into the new skate park design,” he said.
“There were a number of fantastic ideas put forward by the Community Design Group to ensure all users now and into the future will be served well.
“Convic have done a brilliant job of taking these ideas on board and providing a robust masterplan to carry us forward.”
A number of additional features earmarked in the precinct masterplan will be reliant on public donations.
The current detailed design drawings including a 3D representation of the precinct is available on the Shire’s Your Say website.
Community members can help fund additional park upgrades donating to  
During construction the Zone Room and Scout Hall will still be accessible to users with the Zone Room road access way becoming a no-through road.
To stay informed on the project please register at

A digital preview of the upgrades that slated for the Margaret River Cultural Centre has this week been released for public viewing by the Shire of Augusta Margaret River.  
The three-dimensional fly-through gives insight into the functionality offered by the revamped building showinging layouts of the central foyer area, upstairs foyer, refurbished theatre and the new multi-purpose special functions area.
Shire of Augusta Margaret River President Ian Earl said the community was hotly anticipating the redevelopment of the cultural centre, which has been dubbed the Hub Entertainment Arts and Regional Tourism (HEART) Project.
“Council recently made the decision to increase the seating in the main theatre from 300 to 450 seats which will mean that end of year school concerts and large events such as the Melbourne Comedy Festival will be able to take in 50% more people in the audience,” he said.
“Currently many parents are turned away from end of year concerts and presentation events due to a lack of seating so additional seating will be welcomed. 
“New seating and climate control will mean that patrons will be able to enjoy movies, concerts and productions in comfort.
“The project will make a terrific architectural statement which will provide wonderful community facilities both for today’s families and their children’s children in the future.”  
The estimated $9.2 million state of the art refurbishment of the whole asbestos clad cultural centre and squash court complex has been made possible by the Shire being able to attract $3.6 million from State Royalties for Regions, $1.8 million from Federal National Stronger Regions Funding, $1.4 million from Lotterywest and $1.1 million from Developer Contributions from new residents.
Shire ratepayer reserves and borrowings will contribute approximately $1.3 million or 14% of the total, or one in $7 invested.
Architects Bollig Design Group have completed the detailed design work and are now preparing the tender documents for advertising in December.
Construction will start in March 2018.
Members of the public can view the fly-through online here

Electors in the Shire can expect to receive their voting packages from the WA Electoral Commission in the post from approximately three weeks out of polling day on Saturday 21 October 2017.

Shire of Augusta Margaret River Chief Executive Officer CEO Gary Evershed strongly encourages all electors to exercise their right to decide which Councillors will represent them on Council.

“I urge voters not to be complacent, but to make sure that they have their say in who will be elected to Council,” he said.

“This is the first year that electors can vote under a no wards system for all four candidates of their choice so it is important that as many voters as possible have their say.   

“At the last election there was a voter turnout of between 33% to 45% so this year let’s see if we can lift that to over 50% or even higher.”  

Nominations for the Shire of Augusta Margaret River local election closed at 4pm last Thursday 14 September 2017 with nine candidates set to vie for the four vacant Council positions. 

Voters will be required to consider the merits of all nominated candidates for the first time at the 21 October 2017 election following the Shire’s move to a no-wards system.

Shire of Augusta Margaret River Chief Executive Officer Gary Evershed said he was pleased to see a good number of community members throw their hat in the ring for a chance of being on Council.

“It’s always fantastic to see a contested election,” he said.

“The candidates have wide and varied backgrounds and local electors have good range of options when considering who will best represent their views on Council.”

The nine nominated candidates are:

  • Pauline McLeod
  • Julian Janes
  • Julia Meldrum
  • Frank Edwards
  • Felicity Haynes
  • Kylie Kennaugh
  • Naomi Godden
  • Kim Hastie
  • Ian Earl

They will be considered for the vacancies left by the expiring terms of:

  • Ian Earl – North Ward
  • Kylie Kennaugh – North Ward
  • Kim Hastie - Leeuwin Ward
  • Felicity Haynes – Town Ward

Successful candidates will hold a place on Council for a period of four years, initially alongside councillors Mike Smart, Peter Lane and Pam Townshend whose terms expire in October 2019.

The newly formed council will elect their Shire President and Deputy Shire President at a special meeting on Wednesday 25 October 2017, following in a swearing in ceremony.

“I’d strongly encourage all local electors to inform yourself and make your vote count this election,’ he said.

Candidate profiles are available for viewing at:



Efforts to secure interstate and international flights for the Busselton-Margaret River Airport were bolstered last week, with Shire of Augusta Margaret River councillors voting to put $125,000 into an airport marketing fund.
City of Busselton and the Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association (MRBTA) have already committed funds into the joint account, with the Shires of Boyup-Brook, Bridgetown Greenbushes, Capel, Collie, Dardanup, Donnybrook-Balingup, Harvey, Manjimup and Nannup also considering contributions.
Shire of Augusta Margaret River President Ian Earl said it was important for the Shire to back the airport project, with the returns for the investment being potentially significant for the region.
“This airport is a game changer in terms of economic development for the region,” he said.
“It present fantastic opportunity to grow tourism, it’s a huge enticement for federal and state government to invest more into major infrastructure, and for private enterprise to establish and develop supporting services.
“There is also significant opportunity for airfreight cargo, with the region renowned as a producer of high calibre horticultural and agricultural produce.
“There is the ability to shorten time to market while establishing a ‘Paddock to Plate’ supply chain through cargo on domestic and international services, which will provide direct and indirect economic benefits.”
Cr Earl said investment into the airport will result in social benefits for the region, including a range of employment opportunities during construction and also ongoing direct and indirect jobs.
The Busselton Margaret River Regional Airport is recognised in the Shire’s draft Economic Development Strategy 2017-2027 (EDS) as an economic opportunity in assisting in:

  • Eliminating the seasonality of tourism

  • Growing and safeguarding the Margaret River Brand

  • A viable and sustainable food and agricultural sector

Funds committed by the Shire will be paid at a rate of $25,000 per annum for five years, with the first instalment slated for 2018-19.
The joint account will be used specifically to attract air carriers to conduct direct interstate and international flights into the South West region.

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PO Box 61
Margaret River WA 6285

Margaret River

41 Wallcliffe Road
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