Media releases

14 diverse projects aimed at bolstering local community and economic resilience have been funded through the Shire of Augusta Margaret River’s Community Resilience and Economic Stimulus grants program, amounting to $265,500.
 
The grants were established as part of the Council’s COVID-19 Pandemic recovery program announced earlier this year.
 
Shire President Ian Earl said the targeted funding would support a range of initiatives delivering community-wide benefits across the Shire.
 
“The funds we’ve made available are intended to back innovative projects that will drive local industry development or strengthen the broader community’s capacity to withstand shocks into the future,” he said.

“The Pandemic has shown us local communities need to be resilient in their own right, and we think these initiatives will help support this,” he said. 

Successful applicants include:
 
Economic Stimulus Grants

Organisation

Project description

Amount Funded

Margaret River Wine Association

Margaret River Wine Region Sustainability Project to support the industry’s wine growers and wineries in the Shire to continuously improve their sustainability credentials through all the environmental, social and economic aspects of their businesses.

 

$42,800

 

Margaret River Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Business Resource Hub offering a range of training seminars, business support and mentorship, and ‘incubator spaces’ for start-ups.

$55,657

Gathered Organics

Growers promotion program featuring photographs and video content of the food producers and makers in the Margaret River region.

$4,000                                 

Bushtucker Tours

Specialist agricultural support for Wild Food Farm to grow and produce native foods in bulk, increasing local production and processing.

$4,400

Precious Plastics Margaret River

Equipment purchases to increase efficiency and scale towards a self-sustainable community-based recycling and remanufacturing centre.

$19,000

NISA WA

Business Sustainability pilot program 

$5,000

Community Resilience Grants

Organisation

Project Description

Amount Funded

Augusta Pharmacy

Mental Health First Aid training for pharmacy healthcare workers for frontline assistance with the community

$4,602.00

Margaret River Community Pantry

Support for Margaret River Community Pantry development application and site fees

 

 

$6,720.00

Just Home Margaret River

Life skills and personal development program for those affected by or at risk of homelessness

$8,932.63

Refocus Psychology

Health Lifestyle Change Development Program

$6,860.00                                  Plus up to $900.00

Woven Community

Woven Cowaramup community group women’s resilience workshop program

$11,866.00

Augusta Margaret River Clean Community Energy

AMRCCE Revolving Fund for solar panel installation

$65,000.00

Nature Conservation Margaret River

FOR NATURE Sustainable Gardens Workshop Series for residential households

$10,000.00

Undalup Association

Wadandi Traditional Fire Management Workshop 2021

$19,765.00

As the Shire of Augusta Margaret River prepares to host Ecotourism Australia’s Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference next week from December 1 – 3, the Shire of Augusta Margaret River has furthered its commitment to building a sustainable local tourism industry by applying to become a certified ECO Destination.

The ECO Destination certification program run by Ecotourism Australia is a recognisable, trusted guide for travellers that approves destinations committed to sustainable practices and to quality, nature-based tourism experiences.

If successful, the Shire of Augusta Margaret River will join an established global network of like-minded certified destinations offering visitors an easy way of determining where genuine and authentic ecotourism experiences are found.

Shire of Augusta Margaret River CEO Stephanie Addison-Brown said achieving ECO Destination certification was not about growing the number of tourists coming to the region, but about the type of tourist it will attract.

“This certification will help us effectively promote our region to the increasing proportion of travellers who are hungry for sustainable travel experiences. It’s the stamp of approval that we are who we say we are – an authentic destination for environmentally aware visitors,” she said.

“We know that travellers are becoming more discerning as they seek to holiday in destinations where tourism not only brings visitor spend, but is also a driver for social, cultural and environmental improvement. The Shire has been working extremely hard to improve its environmental footprint and this certification will signal to visitors that we’re not green washing; that any claims we’re making as a Shire are being audited by an official body.

Achieving ECO Destination certification would also reflect the aspirations of many community members, who have told us that sustainability is at the top of their priority list,” she said.

Ecotourism Australia CEO Rod Hillman, who is preparing to arrive in the region for next week’s conference said the Shire was very well positioned to become a certified ECO Destination.

“Throughout the application process so far we have been incredibly impressed by the achievements of the Shire of Augusta Margaret River, supported by the Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association. Compared to other destinations we’ve assessed, the Shire is ahead of the curve in terms of its commitment to sustainability.

The Shire already meets three quarters of the criteria, placing them in good stead as they progress through the rigorous, year-long application process” he said.

MRBTA Joint CEO Steve Harrison welcomed the initiative and acknowledged the benefits accreditation would bring.

“We are pleased to be assisting with the efforts towards ECO destination certification and are very fortunate to be able to work with progressive stakeholders such as the Shire to build a sustainable future for the region’s tourism industry. Certification programs such as this will assist our destination marketing efforts to position the region as a compelling holiday choice for the high-value, low-volume visitor markets which we aim to attract,” he said.

Further information

Spokespeople available for comment:

Rod Hillman, Ecotourism Australia CEO
Stephanie Addison-Brown, CEO Shire of Augusta Margaret River
Steve Harrison, Joint CEO Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association

Contact
Cristina Smith
Communications Officer
Shire of Augusta Margaret River
(08) 9780 5239
csmith@amrshire.wa.gov.au

Jenny Lee
Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association 
(08) 9780 5911
jenny.lee@margaretriver.com

About MRBTA

The Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association (MRBTA) is a self-funded, not-for-profit, incorporated association with over 50 years’ experience in supporting the Margaret River Region to thrive through tourism. 

MRBTA exists to attract, service and provide quality and memorable experiences to visitors. In doing so the Association grows the economic, social and environmental outcomes of tourism for the Margaret River Region, and helps provide future employment and prosperity. 

MRBTA has a unique structure which allows it to perform the functions of both Australia’s largest Local Tourism Organisation (LTO), and of the largest tourism operator in the Margaret River Region. As the region’s tourism association, MRBTA acts on behalf of over 700 members whilst providing marketing, visitor servicing and product development to support the success of tourism businesses. Together the Association’s consumer-facing channels create over 2 million touchpoints with visitors each year. 

As a tourism operator, MRBTA manages 7 tourist attractions – Lake Cave, Mammoth Cave, Jewel Cave, Ngilgi Cave, Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse and Forest Adventures South West – and provides ground handling services at the Busselton Margaret River Airport. Funds generated are used to conserve the natural and heritage assets in the Association’s care and underpin the work of the tourism association. 

About Ecotourism Australia

Ecotourism Australia (EA) is a not for profit, membership-based organisation inspiring environmentally sustainable and culturally responsible tourism. Internationally recognised through the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, EA designs and delivers certification programs for tourism products and destinations, assuring travellers that these are backed by a strong commitment to sustainability and quality. EA works with international organisation Green Destinations to certify ecotourism destinations in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.

About the Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference

For the first time in over ten years, the Margaret River Region will host Ecotourism Australia’s annual Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference - the world’s longest running ecotourism conference - from December 1 – 3 2020. Delegates include leading tourism industry operators, ecotourism professionals, tourism bodies and researchers.

MRBTA procured the contract through partnerships with Shire of Augusta Margaret River, Tourism WA, the Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions, and the South West Development Commission.

The conference will take place the newly-developed Margaret River Hub of Entertainment Arts and Regional Tourism (HEART).

List of ECO Certified Tourism Businesses in the Margaret River Region:

  • Busselton Jetty
  • Forest Rise Eco Retreat
  • RAC Busselton Holiday Park
  • Yelverton Brook Eco Spa Retreat and Conservation Sanctuary
  • Cape to Cape Explorer Tours
  • Margaret River Surf School
  • Margaret River Retreat
  • Naturaliste Charters
  • Siesta Park Holiday Resort
  • South West Eco Discoveries
  • Southern Fire Wellness
  • Surf N' Dirt Adventure Tours Margaret River
  • Walk into Luxury
  • Whale Watch Western Australia
  • Margaret River Region Lighthouses
  • Margaret River Region Caves
  • Forest Adventures South West
  • Right Foot Forward WA
  • Everybody’s Discovery Adventures

More than $100,000 has been distributed through the Shire of Augusta Margaret River’s 2020-2021 Community Development and Events Grants program, benefitting 14 diverse projects and events across the region.

Category 1 ($2,000-$15,000) welcomed more than 28 applications, with 14 funded to a total of $105,511.60.

Coordinator Community Planning & Development Jason Cleary congratulated the recipients and welcomed the opportunity to support a broad range of local initiatives.

“These grants provide financial support to community-based volunteer and not-for-profit organisations for projects and events geared towards fostering community resilience and connection,” he said.

“This year’s recipients range from community events to environmental, cultural, arts and leadership programs – all serving to strengthen our community during what has proven to be quite a challenging year.”

Successful applicants include:

  • Dismantle Inc.’s Margaret River Bike Rescue Program ­- $12,397.80
  • Undalup Association’s, Bunuru Festival - $13,200
  • Nature Conservation Margaret River Region’s Wooditjup Bilya Community Connections Project - $5,800
  • The SunSmart Augusta River Festival 2021 - $15,000
  • Australian Breastfeeding Association Capes Group’s additional education classes for Shire families - $2,170
  • The Hive Margaret River Art Collective-Art Exhibition and Community Workshops - $5,823.80
  • Augusta Community Resource Centre’s Augusta Outdoor Concert and Whalesong Festival - $10,000
  • Intercultural Action Group Inc.’s Building Bridges – Intercultural Experience Community Event 2021 - $7,500
  • Radio Margaret River Inc, Volunteer Training Workshops - $6,550
  • Transition Margaret River, in partnership with Undalup Association and The Tribute Tree, Celebrating Country activities - $3,960
  • The Concrete Club’s Roller-Dance Program - $7,920
  • Artzability Inc’s photography and illustration workshops for adults living with disabilities - $5,690
  • Surfing WA’s, Surfing and Cultural Leadership Program for Aboriginal young people - $7,500
  • Swimming Mermaids annual Margaret River Ocean Swim - $2,000

For more information, call Community Development Officer Kim Rosenfeld on 08 9780 5233.
 

More than $100,000 has been distributed through the Shire of Augusta Margaret River’s 2020-2021 Community Development and Events Grants program, benefitting 14 diverse projects and events across the region.

Category 1 ($2,000-$15,000) welcomed more than 28 applications, with 14 funded to a total of $105,511.60.

Coordinator Community Planning & Development Jason Cleary congratulated the recipients and welcomed the opportunity to support a broad range of local initiatives.

“These grants provide financial support to community-based volunteer and not-for-profit organisations for projects and events geared towards fostering community resilience and connection,” he said.

“This year’s recipients range from community events to environmental, cultural, arts and leadership programs – all serving to strengthen our community during what has proven to be quite a challenging year.”

Successful applicants include:

  • Dismantle Inc.’s Margaret River Bike Rescue Program ­- $12,397.80
  • Undalup Association’s, Bunuru Festival - $13,200
  • Nature Conservation Margaret River Region’s Wooditjup Bilya Community Connections Project - $5,800
  • The SunSmart Augusta River Festival 2021 - $15,000
  • Australian Breastfeeding Association Capes Group’s additional education classes for Shire families - $2,170
  • The Hive Margaret River Art Collective-Art Exhibition and Community Workshops - $5,823.80
  • Augusta Community Resource Centre’s Augusta Outdoor Concert and Whalesong Festival - $10,000
  • Intercultural Action Group Inc.’s Building Bridges – Intercultural Experience Community Event 2021 - $7,500
  • Radio Margaret River Inc, Volunteer Training Workshops - $6,550
  • Transition Margaret River, in partnership with Undalup Association and The Tribute Tree, Celebrating Country activities - $3,960
  • The Concrete Club’s Roller-Dance Program - $7,920
  • Artzability Inc’s photography and illustration workshops for adults living with disabilities - $5,690
  • Surfing WA’s, Surfing and Cultural Leadership Program for Aboriginal young people - $7,500
  • Swimming Mermaids annual Margaret River Ocean Swim - $2,000

For more information, call Community Development Officer Kim Rosenfeld on 08 9780 5233.
 

The Shire of Augusta Margaret River has declared itself “owl friendly” and is backing a local campaign to protect wildlife by discouraging the use of a troubling class of rodenticides.

Councillors passed the motion at Wednesday night’s meeting, signalling the Shire’s official support for the Rodenticide Action Group and its Owl Friendly campaign.

The group's vision is to make the Margaret River region a haven for owls and other wildlife from rodenticide poisoning, and specifically centres on second-generation anti-coagulant rodenticides.

Shire Coordinator Environment Landcare Services John McKinney said the particular class of rodenticide threatened wildlife through direct and non-direct consumption, and the Shire was proud to back the initiative.

"Not only can non-target animals eat these baits, they can also be harmed – and often killed – when they eat a mouse or rat that has died or is moving slowly from the poison," he said.

"But by publicly declaring the region owl friendly, we hope to discourage the use of these rodenticides and increase the uptake of more humane, environmentally-sensitive methods and products."

Some of the animals at risk include nocturnal birds like the Masked and Barn Owls, Boobook and Tawny Frogmouth, as well as diurnal birds of prey, Quenda, Possums, Chuditch and Phascogales.

The Shire already undertakes owl friendly pest management, but will expand its actions by reaching out to Shire-owned premises that coordinate their own rodent control, investigating how owl friendly measures can be incorporated into demolition requirements, distributing owl friendly information to businesses, and erecting owl friendly displays at Shire-owned libraries.

Rodenticide Action Group coordinator Dr Boyd Wykes said second-generation anti-coagulant rodenticides represented the bulk of products available at supermarkets and hardware stores, and many people were likely unaware of the insidious problem they posed for nocturnal birdlife and other fauna.

“The Margaret River community is rightfully proud and protective of its extraordinarily rich environment and wildlife,” he said.

“We know that our residents and businesses would be horrified to find out that the poisons many are using to control rats and mice are also killing a wide range of wildlife, including owls that are our natural allies in controlling these pests.”

Owl Friendly Margaret River has a wealth of resources on owl friendly rodent control at owlfriendly.org.au

The group is also hosting an event on 27 November from 5.30-7pm at Margaret River HEART.

It will include information on owl friendly rodent control as well as illustrated talks, art, a book display and complimentary nibbles. Register at bit.ly/36uMAEq

 

The region's elusive Masked Owl is the face of the owl friendly campaign. Picture: Steve Castan
For a high resolution version or more images, click here.

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