Media releases

Local sporting groups will benefit from the additional of a new playing field in the Gloucester Park precinct, with the $1.1m construction project beginning this week.
The project will see the grass paddock at Lower Western Oval, which was previously used as a dog exercise area and overflow parking area, transformed into a grass turf pitch suitable for a range of sporting activities including soccer, hockey and rugby.
Shire Recreation Operation Manager Dylan Brown said the project included ground works, fencing, and lighting to ensure maximum usability throughout the year.
“There has been significant pressure on our sporting ovals for some time now so this additional playing pitch is a huge coup for the community,” he said.
“We are very fortunate to have the space to expand sporting facilities close to the Margaret River town site, and keep sporting locations within walking distance of schools and other key services.”
Residents who previously used the site as a dog exercise area are reminded they will now need to use one of the other 15 dog exercise areas in the Shire, with the closest alternative location being approximately 1.3km away at Georgette Drive Reserve in Margaret River.
Director Sustainable Development Dale Putland said a full review of dog exercise was conducted concurrently to oval construction planning, to enable dog owners to have their say about future exercise areas.
“We received a good level of community feedback on the matter and will be delivering a report to the Council on Wednesday 12 September with some recommendations,” he said.
“We are confident we will be able to manage the needs of both sporting group members and dog owners.”
The sporting oval construction is due for completion by the end of January 2019.  

Kids Club Margaret River will be joining the campaign against child sexual assault by participating in White Balloon Day this Friday 7 September 2018.
An initiative of child protection organisation Bravehearts, White Balloon Day runs as part of National Child Protection Week, which this year runs 2-8 September 2018.
Shire of Augusta Margaret River Shire President Pam Townshend said the goal of the national initiative was to recognise the role we all have in protecting children from harm.
“The enduring message of White Balloon Day and National Child Protection Week is that the safeguarding of children is the business of all of us,” she said.
“Little things we can do every day include talking to children, listening to their needs and spending time with them.
“We can all also look out for the wellbeing of local young people and talk to an expert if you suspect something might be wrong.
“It’s also important to take report of abuse seriously.”
Bravehearts recommends teaching children the 5 Basic Principles of Personal Safety early in their lives.
1.  To trust their feelings and to distinguish between ‘yes’ and ‘no’ feelings.
2.  To say ‘NO’ if they feel unsafe and unsure.
3.  That they own their own bodies.
4.  That nothing is so yucky that they can’t tell someone about it.
5.  That if they feel unsafe or unsure to run and tell someone they trust.
Bravehearts offers specialised support, education and training services for children, families, schools, childcare centres and organisations. 
Call our toll free Support Line on 1800 272 831 Monday to Friday between 8:30am to 4:30pm (AEST) or visit our website www.bravehearts.org.au.
Kids Club Margaret River is managed by a certified practitioner in protective behaviours. 

The Shire last week issued updated Waste and Recycling Guides, with a tip pass, as part of the 2018/19 rates notice letters.

Since the printing of these guides, State-wide changes to the waste market have resulted in a revised list of items that can be placed in all Shire recycling bins.

Watch this video produced by ABC for a simple update of what can and can’t go in your yellow bin. 

Shire of Augusta Margaret River Waste Education and Project Officer Jackie Dickson said the changes are the result of an increasing pressure to reduce contamination in the recycling bins and get back to a clear list of items which have a market for reproduction.

“The three main Material Recovery Facility (MRF) operators in Perth have agreed to a common list of materials which are to be included or excluded from the recycling bin,” she said.

“The new accepted items list differs slightly to what has been printed in the annual Shire Waste Guide.

“Unfortunately we were only advised of these changes after the Waste and Recycling Guides had been distributed, however we feel it’s a good result for Western Australia to now have a common list of recyclables.”

“Please note the changes and continue your recycling efforts so we can divert as much waste from landfill as possible.”

The new list of accepted items supersedes the information on pages  6 and 14 of the printed 2018/19 Waste and Recycling Guide, that will accompany your rates notice(s).

View the new Waste and Recycling Guide 2018/19 online.

All items placed in the recycling bin should be clean, dry and empty with lids removed.

 

 

Shire of Augusta Margaret River Chief Executive Officer Gary Evershed has this morning announced he will retire from the top job effective Friday 25 January 2019.

As he will be clearing all leave entitlements prior to the official end date, Mr Evershed’s last day in the office will be Friday 2 November 2018.

Mr Evershed said he was ending his more than 10-year reign at the Shire to enjoy more time with family and pursue other interests.

“I wish to put on the record that it has been a great honour and privilege to serve the community as the Shire CEO for what will be more than ten years of loyal service,” he said.

“The evidence suggests that I am leaving the Shire in a much better state than I found it especially in terms of tackling the infrastructure backlog, improving the Shire’s finances, improved strategic planning and increased staff productivity to name just a few items.

“I believe that it is now an appropriate time to pass on the baton to another CEO to take the Shire forward in this next phase of its evolution.”   Mr Evershed said during his time at the Shire he has had the great fortune to have been able to work very effectively with a number of highly strategic and effective elected members and with a highly motivated and innovative team of staff members. 

“It has been a joy to do something that you like doing and coming to work every day to work with such a positive group of highly professional people who I have come to know as friends,” he said.

“Working with you all has been really special and personally rewarding and together we have achieved a great deal for the community.”

Shire President Pam Townshend congratulated Mr Evershed on his retirement and thanked him for his commitment and dedication to the role.

“Thank you for your service and congratulations on your retirement,” she said.

“Your visions for the Shire have been bold and aspirational.

“Under your steady leadership we have become a more vibrant, sustainable, connected community.

“You leave us very well positioned for the future.”

Mr Evershed was just last week awarded the highest honours in WA Local Government when he was presented with a Distinguished Officer Award.

The award recognises Mr Evershed’s contributions to his community and his outstanding achievements for the sector.

 

A successful Lotterywest Grant application is set to provide for over $400,000 in upgrades works to the historical Cowaramup Hall.
The hall, which was built in 1930, is owned by the Shire of Augusta Margaret River and is used for community events, social functions and by sporting groups. 
The funds will provide for:

  • structural restoration including bracing of the roof and southern wall,
  • accessibility improvements including wider doors, accessible ramps, signage
  • a new commercial kitchen
  • some upgrades to the surrounding public open space, including footpath upgrades, drinking fountain and lighting around the skate park.

In addition to the grant-funded works, the Shire will:

  • construct a deep sewer connections to the Hall and the nearby ablution block
  • decommission the current septics system and make the space available for public use
  • refurbished and extended the existing ablution block to provide one additional male cubicle, two additional female cubicles and a new accessible toilet

Shire Community Development Office Jessica black said awarding of the grant was a huge win for the community.

“The grant will help to preserve and beautiful and much-loved community building,” she said.
“Once the works are complete it will also be a much more user-friendly building by a wider range of community members and groups.
“We look forward to the end result.”
It is anticipated that request for tender will be advertised in September and physical work will commence early in the next calendar year.
“The Shire thanks Lotterywest for their support of the Cowaramup Halls improvements project and other regional community projects,” Ms Black said.
“A special mention must be made to Neil Earl and Jill Turton from Cowaramup Hall Reserves and Residents Association for their contribution and ongoing support to local community groups and the Hall’s operations.
“Thank you also to all those who sent letters of support for this project.”
 

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