Media releases

Last week Shire of Augusta Margaret River Councillors passed further measures to bolster economic recovery and support community resilience as part of their evolving COVID-19 Community Care Package.

In March 2020, $2m was set aside under Community Care Package, with over $400k committed to date.

Three new measures include adoption of a Financial Hardship Policy, new Economic Stimulus Grants and Community Resilience Grants.

The Financial Hardship Policy provides several flexible payment arrangements for rate payers, businesses and community groups who can demonstrate financial hardship as a result of COVID-19.

Economic Stimulus Grants are aimed at building local employment, business success and sustainability. They are available to businesses, non-for-profits and incorporated associations with an ABN.

Community Resilience Grants have been developed to support long-term strategic community projects that enhance sustainability, build resilience and develop our community’s ability to withstand ongoing disruption and major shocks.

Shire President Ian Earl said the additional measures were aimed at the local level.

“Supporting our local community to weather the economic challenges we’re facing is Council’s priority,” he said.

“We know that within WA, our local government area is one of the worst hit by the economic fallout of this pandemic.

“These new measures are intended to complement existing State and Federal stimulus initiatives,“ he said.

Property rates are being distributed from 17 August and ratepayers who are experiencing financial strain as a result of the pandemic are encouraged to contact the Shire to discuss payment plan options.

Grants details

The new grants:

Open on Friday 28 August 2020, 9am
Close on Friday 9 October 2020, 3pm.

Funding announcements will be made in mid-November 2020.

Application forms and final criteria will be available from 28 August on the Shire’s website at
www.amrshire.wa.gov.au/council/financial-assistance .

Grants Information Session and Writing Workshop

An grants information and writing work will be held with specific information about these grants.

Date: Tuesday 15 September 2020
Time: 9.30am
Venue: Margarets In Town, 6 Tunbridge Street, Margaret River

For more information please contact the Shire’s Community Development Team on 9780 5276 or 9780 5260 or to RSVP email communitydevelopment@amrshire.wa.gov.au

Two bus stops on Bussell Highway in Cowaramup’s Main Street are being relocated to Hasluck Street from 1 September 2020.

The move which was initiated by the local community will provide increased safety in the busy main street and free up parking bays that were previously restricted for several hours each day to accommodate the buses.

The new bus stops in Hasluck Street come complete with shelters and a designated parking area for drop-off and pick-up of passengers.

Shire of Augusta Augusta Margaret River Ranger Services Coordinator, Sharon McTaggart is keen to raise awareness with local bus users about the importance of sticking to the parking areas provided.

“Ample and convenient parking has been provided in the form of a new overflow parking area on the shire reserve at the intersection of Bottrill Street and Hasluck Street”.

“We want to stress that parking is not permitted anywhere on the footpath or in front of the bus shelters”, she said.

“It is essential that we keep the area safe and trafficable for local children and pedestrians”.

Rangers will be regularly monitoring the area and fines may be issued for non-compliance.

The old bus stops will be decommissioned from 5pm on 31 August 2020.

Please contact the Shire’s Infrastructure Services Team on (08) 9780 5255 or by e-mail on amrshire@amrshire.wa.gov.au  if you require any further information about the new bus stops.

August is Rural Road Safety Month and the Australian Road Safety Foundation is calling on rural road users to review their driving habits and take the road safety pledge by promising to:

  • Always be fit to drive
  • Scan the road ahead
  • Know my limits and plan my trip
  • Stay sharp and take regular breaks
  • Not drive through flooded waters
  • Be alert for wildlife and livestock
  • Drive to suit the conditions

Rural road crashes account for more that 65% of the Australian road toll and the shire is not immune to these statistics with fatal crashes on Warner Glen Road and Kevill Road in recent times.

Shire Manager of Asset Services, David Nicholson confirmed that safety improvements are incorporated into the design and construction of all rural road upgrades.

“We are progressively upgrading rural roads as funding permits, with enhanced safety considerations including improved roadside drainage, improvements to road geometry at bends and crests that increase visibility, warning signage and guide posts.”

Several local roads are earmarked for upgrades in 2020-21 including:

  • Kevill Road
  • Leeuwin Road
  • Rosa Glen Road
  • Wilson Road
  • Warner Glen Road 
  • Wallcliffe Road

Road design for future upgrades is also programmed for sections of Cowaramup Bay Road and Jindong Treeton Road.

To find out more about the Australian Road Safety foundation and to make the pledge to choose road safety visit https://arsf.com.au

A recent upgrade to Witchcliffe “Druids” Hall has just been completed, with renovations breathing new life into the iconic local building.

The renovations, which commenced at the end of May 2020, have seen a new stainless-steel kitchen and servery installed as well as a newly constructed timber verandah with new roof and stainless-steel balustrades and timber steps linking the hall to a new barbecue shelter.

The new covered outdoor areas open the hall for greater use and provide greater access to the paved area to the south of the hall.

Upgrades to the building also include new lighting, heating, windows and timber doors and removal of all asbestos which was replaced with new wall linings.

Coordinator Building Assets and Maintenance, David Gunn said the renovations would ensure the iconic local building is preserved for years to come and would increase usability of the venue for members of the community.

“Working together with the Witchcliffe Progress Association, we have been able to preserve the overall look and feel of the building while ensuring it’s maintained for the future.

“The renovations are very much in keeping with the current character of the hall and will not only preserve the building but increase its appeal as an attractive and usable venue for members of the community to hire for celebrations, small events and gatherings.

“I would like to extend my thanks to the Witchcliffe Progress Association for their input, the Witchcliffe community for their support and local builder Tectonics for working with us through the upgrade of this much-loved building,” he said.

The renovations to Witchcliffe Hall cost $94,000 with the project jointly funded by the Shire of Augusta Margaret River and developer contributions funds.

The newly renovated Witchcliffe “Druids” Hall is now open again for hire. For booking enquiries please visit www.amrshire.wa.gov.au/facilities/halls/8/witchcliffe-druids-hall/

Final touches to the latest mural funded by the Shire of Augusta Margaret River on Margaret River’s Main Street are being painted this week.

The extensive mural titled “Wadandi Boodjarra” is a collaboration between local artists Ian Mutch, Jack Bromell and Sandra Hill depicting Wadandi home country, local flora, and iconic Forest Red-tailed Black Cockatoos. 

Shire Sustainable Economy Officer, Saul Cresswell said support for the mural was part of an ongoing effort to create a sense of place and add to the vibrancy of our town centre as well as backing local artists.

“The group considered the nature and shape of the space, with most of the focus on the front half of the wall that is highly visible from the street.

“The collaboration involves each artist focusing on their specialty.

“I’d like to thank the artists and also Creative Corner for their role in facilitating this piece of art,” he said.

Indigenous icons are positioned lower down so that they are ‘grounded’ and not represented in the sky, and the mural especially focuses on the symbolism of Red-Tailed Black Cockatoos.

Ian Mutch has drawn on his expertise in painting photo-realistic birds to add a second Cockatoo to the first one that appeared on the wall in early July.

Mr Mutch said he often paints birds, which were suited to outdoor murals.

“They are uplifting and provide much energy to an artwork, especially in a public outdoor space.

“Forest Red-tailed Black Cockatoos are native to the South-West and provide a sense of place, belonging and cultural significance,” he said.

Award-winning Wadandi artist, Sandra Hill, describes the icons in her design featuring a strong red line on the corner of the building that runs from top to bottom.

“This line symbolises the blood line of family all the way back to the creation story of the Margaret River (place of Wooditch).

"This red blood line runs through our country.  The creation of Wooditjup (Margaret River) is an ancient story that has been told by our people long before colonisation and the River is a fully registered and very important Aboriginal site.

“The central brown circle depicts home country, Wadandi Boodjarra (Wadandi home country). 

“The patterns in the middle circle are our traditional markings on our shields. 

“The red circle symbolises old, ancient blood. 

“The black line circle symbolises our community.

“The ochre dots on the outside symbolise our family clan groups,” she said.

WA-based artist, Jack Bromell who has painted a number of local murals illustrated Marri branches with leaves and flowers to complement the Red-Tailed Black Cockatoos and the Indigenous symbology from Sandra. 

“The Marri tree (Corymbia calophylla) is a species native to the South West, whose name derives from the local Noongar language. 

“Red-Tails can frequently be found perched amongst Marri branches feeding on nuts and flowers, which are an important food source for native bird species.

“Painting Marri in the mural highlights a sense of place through connection with native wildlife and ancient culture,” he said.

The Shire is exploring options at an alternative location on the Main Street for an additional smaller mural.

From left, arists Ian Mutch, Sandra Hill and Jack Bromell working on their collaborative mural "Wadandi Boodjarra"
Download high res image here

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Postal Address

PO Box 61
Margaret River WA 6285

Margaret River

41 Wallcliffe Road
Monday to Friday
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Ph 08 9780 5255
Fax 08 9757 2512

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66 Allnut Terrace
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