Media releases

The Shire of Augusta Margaret River has begun developing a Foreshore Management Plan for Prevelly and Gnarabup, which will cover 5.5kms of coastline and include more than 130ha of coastal reserve.

The plan will be in the context of previous assessment plans for the Prevelly-Gnarabup foreshore and involve detailed site assessments coupled with community consultation.

Shire Coordinator Landcare Services John McKinney said the consultation process would develop recommendations on issues like beach and reserve access, weed management and revegetation, and the protection of cultural and environmental values of the area. 

“Prevelly and Gnarabup have significant environmental and cultural values and are such special places to many people, so we really encourage community input to ensure that local views and insight can be considered,” he said. 

“The development of this plan is an important step in protecting and restoring the diverse cultural and environmental values of this coastal strip. 

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

The Shire has engaged Environmental Consultant Drew McKenzie from Litoria Ecoservices to assist in preparing the plan. 

Community members are encouraged to attend a series of onsite community meetings and site walks to learn about the project, contribute local insight and make suggestions. 

Meetings will be held on Saturday 22 May 2021 at 1pm, meeting at the Rivermouth Carpark, and 3pm, meeting at the Surfers Point "Shellter"; and again on Sunday 23 May 2021 at 1pm, meeting at the White Elephant Café, and 3pm, meeting at Grunters carpark. 

Anyone interested in contributing ideas or comments on the management of the foreshore are also encouraged to prepare written submissions. 

Submissions must be received by Friday 28 May and should be returned to the Shire via [email protected] 

These changes, along with site assessment and detailed consultation with key stakeholders, will be used to develop draft recommendations and actions. 

Following adoption of this draft plan by Council, a formal consultation period will be undertaken, including an advertised public review.

Please direct media enquiries to [email protected]

Picture: Community input is sought on a new Foreshore Management Plan for Prevelly and Gnarabup.
Credit: Russell Ord
Download high-resolution image here.

The Shire of Augusta Margaret River recently completed a draft Sustainable Economy Strategy and community members are invited to provide comments to move it towards finalisation. The purpose of the strategy is to help guide the Shire’s economy towards a sustainable future that mutually benefits industry, the community and the environment.

The Shire of Augusta Margaret River sits within an internationally recognised Biodiversity Hotspot, and the unique and beautiful natural environment is a key factor in why people choose to live, work, and visit here. The Sustainable Economy Strategy seeks to map out a pathway for preserving this environment while unlocking opportunities for sustainable livelihoods.

Sustainable Economy Officer Saul Cresswell said the strategy had been in the pipeline for a number of years and drew upon diverse community consultation including feedback from the Shire’s 2016 food summits, 2019 business surveys, communication with peak industry groups and input from the Sustainable Economy Reference Group. 

“The principle of sustainability is not hard to understand but putting it into practice is the challenging part,” he said.

"In our part of the world we are very aware of the relationship between people and the natural environment. Stabilising the relationship between the the two is crucial and this strategy is about identifiying key actions to help manage our economy into the future with this awareness." 

Shire President Ian Earl said the Sustainable Economy Strategy joined calls from around the world to meet the economic challenges of Covid-19 as an opportunity to “build back better”. 

“Our community was hard hit during the height of Covid-19 lockdowns and we’ve all seen first hand the need to build resilience into our economy, which is a key focus of this strategy,” he said.  

“Our region is in an excellent position to be a leader in sustainability. We already put a lot of resources into looking after our community members and our natural environment, so combining these into an economic strategy is real triple bottom line thinking. From tourism to farming and the wine industry, we’re seeing bold steps being taken to run viable businesses while improving the surrounding environment.”

The Shire has played an instrumental role in supporting some of the key industry groups within the region to be leaders in sustainability. With the support of Shire funding, Lower Blackwood Landcare has helped farmers access the knowledge and tools to improve regenerative farming practices, and the Margaret River Wine Association has launched its Sustainable Wine Growing program.

The Shire has also backed local non-profit Precious Plastics Margaret River in their efforts to repurpose waste plastic in a prime example of circular economy in action. A site and some funding has also been provided by the Shire for Margaret River Community Pantry to divert food waste and provide affordable food for those needing extra support.
 
The draft Sustainable Economy Strategy is open for community feedback from now until 31 May, with the final strategy due to go before Council at the end of June 2021.

To view the strategy and have your say visit yoursay.amrshire.wa.gov.au/sustainable-economy or complete a hard copy survey available from the Margaret River and Augusta Shire offices and libraries.

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Image: Precious Plastics Founder Narelle Kuppers and the Shire's Sustainable Economy Officer Saul Cresswell, showing a circular economy in action. High resolution image available here

 

The Shire of Augusta Margaret River are considering the introduction of timed, unpaid parking along Bussell Highway in the Margaret River Main Street Precinct, in response to requests from some local businesses.

Business owners and the wider community are invited to have their say, to assist the Shire to determine the level of support for timed, unpaid parking and in what shape and form.

Director Sustainable Development and Infrastructure Nick Logan said the aim was to free up the number of bays near shops and to encourage visitors and employees who are in town for long periods to park on adjacent streets and carparks.  

“The Shire is keen to gauge the level of support for this option from both business owners and the wider community,” he said.

“Timed parking could mean a blanket three-hour time limit in public parking areas throughout the town centre or specifically tailored time limits allowing individual businesses to cater to their customers’ requirements, for example, 15-minute parking at the front of chemists and newsagents.”

“The important thing at this stage is to get feedback from both local businesses and members of the public, so that we can ensure as far as possible that the decision reflects the needs and wants of the wider community,” he said.

Mr Logan said as part of the same consultation, the Shire is also seeking public opinion on suitable locations for a permanent and peak hour (Friday and Saturday nights) taxi rank.

“As a town with limited public transport, taxi services provide an invaluable community service and we need to ensure the rank location is easily located with adequate seating and shade for users,” he said.   

Business owners and community members are invited and encouraged to provide their views at yoursay.amrshire.wa.gov.au/parking-on-the-main-street. Hard copy surveys are also available at the Shire offices in Margaret River.

Feedback will be collated and presented to Council with a recommendation for or against the inclusion of timed, unpaid parking within the town centre of Margaret River along with proposed locations for taxi ranks.

The consultation process is now open and will close on Monday 7 June 2021.

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The Shire of Augusta Margaret River is seeking feedback from community members and business owners on the prospect of timed, unpaid parking in the Margaret River Main Street Precinct. High resolution image available here

The Shire of Augusta Margaret River is recognising National Volunteer Week, being held from 17-23 May 2021, by providing workshops for local volunteers and community groups, and those who are curious about volunteering but don’t know how to get started.

National Volunteer Week is Australia’s largest celebration of volunteers and recognises the significant contribution that is made by almost six million volunteers across the country with the theme Recognise – Reconnect – Reimagine.

With over 230 active local volunteer organisations, the Shire of Augusta Margaret River is using the occasion to provide the following workshops with ConnectGroups, thanks to funding from Volunteering WA and Lotterywest:

- Introduction to Volunteering on Tuesday 18 May from 10am to 12pm.

- Strategic Planning for Community Groups on Tuesday 18 May from 1pm to 3.30pm.

- Sundowner and Networking Event for Community Groups on Tuesday 18 May from 4pm to 6pm.

- Social Media Basics for Community Groups on Wednesday 19 May from 9am to 12pm.

All sessions are free and will be held at Margaret River HEART. Daytime workshops include morning or afternoon tea and those who attend the sundowner can enjoy drinks and canapes while they mingle with likeminded volunteers.

Community members who would like to attend the Introduction to Volunteering session or groups who would like to promote volunteering opportunities at this session are encouraged to RSVP to Community Development Officer Kim Rosenfeld on 08 9780 5233 or [email protected]. Community Groups who would like to attend the other workshops can RSVP to ConnectGroups on 08 9364 6909 or [email protected].

ConnectGroups are also offering one-to-one support for community groups, providing them with a chance to chat in more depth about their group’s specific needs.

Shire President Ian Earl encouraged those interested in volunteering to attend the introductory session and urged community groups to use workshops as a fabulous and free way to upskill.

“The past twelve months has brought challenges to many in our community and volunteering can be a great way to reconnect, gain work experience and extend your skills,” he said.

“National Volunteer Week workshops provide a great way for both new and long-standing volunteer organisations to improve their strategic planning and sharpen their social media skills, while also providing the chance to network - which can lead to all sorts of new ideas and opportunities.”

“We love our volunteers in the Shire of Augusta Margaret River, thank you for all that you do, and please put your hands up for these free workshops, to further the impact of volunteering in our community,” he said.

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Image: Free workshops for volunteers and community groups will be held at the Margaret River HEART on 18 and 19 May in recognition of National Volunteer Week. High res image here. Credit Russell Ord.

The Cocoon Gallery for Emerging Artists at Margaret River Library is set to exhibit the latest works of visual artist Jara Gillick-Lewis in an exhibition titled ‘Rabbit in the Moon’.

The exhibition will launch at the Cocoon Gallery for Emerging Artists on Thursday 6 May 2021 from 6pm to 7pm with the community invited to attend. Works will remain on show until 30 June, so those who can’t make the opening will still have the chance to see the intriguing exhibition.

Gillick-Lewis is a practicing local visual artist working with a diverse range of mediums including illustration, ink, watercolour and spray paint.

The artist completed a Bachelor of Fine Art majoring in illustration at the Victorian College of the Arts in 2013, followed by a Master of Teaching (Visual Art Secondary) in 2017.

Gillick-Lewis says her illustrations of the natural world celebrate the inextricable complexity and simplicity inherent in nature. “The splashes of colour and stains throughout my work represent the fluidity of nature itself and our perceptions,” she said.

The talented artist has facilitated many large-scale street art projects with disengaged youth as part of various community-based initiatives over the last ten years. “I have a deep respect for art and its power to transform others,” she said.

“I like to use art as a catalyst for positive change.”

The official launch of ‘Rabbit in the Moon’ will be held on Thursday 6 May 2021 from 6pm to 7pm at the Margaret River Library. Local musician Melita Mae Franklin will provide music at the event on her acoustic guitar and light refreshments will be provided. To RSVP to the exhibition opening, please email Jara Gillick-Lewis on [email protected].

Artworks on display are for sale directly with the artist. For artwork sales enquiries please call Jara Gillick-Lewis on 0432 089 998.

The Margaret River Library is an easily accessible venue and the community are welcome to view this latest exhibition at the Cocoon Gallery at any time during library opening hours.

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Image: The latest works of visual artist Jara Gillick-Lewis are being exhibited at the Cocoon Gallery for Emerging Artists until 30 June. High res image here

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Postal Address

PO Box 61
Margaret River WA 6285

Margaret River

41 Wallcliffe Road
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Fax 08 9757 2512

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