Media releases

A Total Fire Ban has been declared for the Shire of Augusta Margaret River for all of Friday 13 and Saturday 14 December 2020.

This means:

  • You must not light or use any fires in the open air
  • All open fires for the purpose of cooking or camping are not allowed 
  • Hot work such as metal work, grinding, welding, soldering, gas cutting or similar is not allowed unless you have an exemption issued by DFES

You must not undertake any other activities that may start a fire.

The ban has been declared due to a Fire Danger Rating of Severe for large parts of the Shire.
Penalties for ignoring the Total Fire Bans include fines of up to $25,000 and/or 12 months jail.

For a full list of districts impacted by Total Fire Bans visit https://www.emergency.wa.gov.au/#totalfirebans

Local construction company Busselton Civil (BCP) Pty Ltd was awarded the construction tender for Margaret River’s Main Street upgrade that is set to start in February 2020.

A total of six organisations attended the public briefing for more information about the project, with two quality tender responses received.

The Shire of Augusta Margaret River Council decided at last night’s Ordinary Council Meeting to appoint BCP as the successful tenderer.  

Shire President Ian Earl said he was delighted that a business from within the local region would be completing the Main Street Makeover.

“I’m very pleased to announce that after thorough evaluation by a panel, a local supplier has been selected.

“There is a total $8.6m in State and Local Government funding earmarked for phases one and two of the project and the more of these funds that are spent locally, the more we will see recirculated back to local families.”

“This really is a win for the whole community,” he said.

Chief Executive Officer Stephanie Addison-Brown said the first two phases of works to be completed under the tender contract include Tunbridge Street to Fearn Avenue (including the new Festival Precinct on Fearn Avenue), the roundabout to the south of town where Bussell Highway intersects with Wallcliffe Road, and the roundabout at Tunbridge Street and Churchill Avenue intersection.

“There has been a big build up to this point and I feel like the community can really get excited now,” she said.

“The project is going to result in a highly attractive, welcoming and accessible centre of town that we can really enjoy and be proud of.

“There will be critical drainage improvements, road pavement upgrades and improved safety measures for both pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.

“The streetscape will be friendlier, with more landscaping and seating areas to socialise in.  

 “Also included is a new Festival Precinct which has been long desired for by the community – particularly business groups.

“This will create opportunities for more festivals, fairs, celebrations and events to create a more vibrant and active town centre,” she said.

A summary of key benefits includes:

  • increased number of road crossing points from six to nine to improve pedestrian safety and constructed in line with current standards;
  • a net increase of at least two parking bays within the CBD, with increased length of parking bays from 6.3m to 7m. This will provide better access for 4WD vehicles and achieve compliance with current standards. There will be additional directional signage to direct traffic to parking options;
  • larger ACROD accessible bays for people with mobility restrictions;
  • a new Festival Precinct on Fearn Avenue providing the community with an event space adding to the vibrancy and community feel of our town centre. The Festival Precinct will include a rain garden;
  • safer intersections and improvements to traffic flow with the new roundabouts at Tunbridge Street and Wallcliffe Road/Bussell Highway intersections;
  • a new cycle lane and additional bike parking which will help create a culture of using alternative transport modes;
  • improved verge landscaping and larger tree protection zones to preserve the established trees;
  • better drainage, pathway and road surfaces; new energy efficient LED street lighting;
  • better bin systems to improve recycling;
  • new outdoor seating and;
  • flags on street poles that can be better utilised by community groups and event organisers to promote events.

The key features and benefits of the project have been determined through extensive community consultation held with residents, business owners, community groups, partner agencies and local organisations since 2013,” Ms Addison-Brown said.

“Through this consultation, our community have essentially built the plan in collaboration with the Shire.

“I feel very confident people are going to be really happy with the final result.

“We look forward to starting the project as scheduled in February 2020 and bringing the long-awaited project to fruition,” she said.

The first two phases of this project are funded by the State Government of Western Australia through the South West Development Commission and by the Shire of Augusta Margaret River.

The third phase between Willmot Avenue up to Wallcliffe Road is subject to further funding.

For more information about the project visit www.mainstreetmakeover.com.au

Shire of Augusta Margaret River Councillors have endorsed a plan to that seeks to address community safety concerns at critical cliff sites along the Shire’s coastline.

A Coastal Hazard Risk Management and Adaptation Plan which was developed in 2016 identified coastal hazards requiring detailed technical investigation across a number of sites.

In 2017, modifications were made to the stairs at Gracetown and Surfers Point to address risks of cliff collapse.

Further investigations undertaken since then provide a clear direction for the Shire to act in relation to other cliffs that pose ground instability or rock fall risk.

Sites include the coastal areas of Gracetown, Prevelly, and Gnarabup, with action staged over the next three financial years based on risk and priority of the work required.

Immediate action will see a temporary fence and signage installed at Riflebutts to caution community members about the risk of rockfall along the northern end of the beach and to restrict access. A permanent fence will be installed in early 2020.

Other signage will be immediately installed at Gnarabup and Surfers Point.

Underpinning to add support to cliff structures at the White Elephant Stairs in Gnarabup and at Surfers Point is also planned.

Shire President Ian Earl said the work will cost the Shire close to $380,000 over three years, but was much needed in the interest of community safety.

“Council was keen to endorse this action, so extra signage could be installed in time for the busy summer break.

“Community members should be informed on their local coastal areas by reading these cliff stability reports, and also by adhering to the warning signage displayed along the coastline.”

“Community safety is our concern, but every community member also has a responsibility for their own safety,” he said.

Shire officers will engage with coastal residents in the New Year, before further work is implemented.

For more information on works to occur at each site, community members are encouraged to visit https://www.amrshire.wa.gov.au/coastalsafety

Contact for media questions is John McKinney, Landcare and Environment Coordinator on 9780 5255 or jmckinney@amrshire.wa.gov.au
 
 

Over 140 volunteers, and their friends and family, representing volunteer organisations from across the Shire attended the 2019 Thank a Volunteer Day on Wednesday 5 December 2019.
Hosted by the Shire at the HEART, the annual event was an opportunity to thank and celebrate the work of the 230 active local volunteer organisations who dedicate countless hours to support the community.
The Thank a Volunteer Day event coincided with International Volunteer Day, which was established in 1985 by the United Nations General Assembly and is celebrated on 5 December each year. The Department of Communities who provide a small event grant to assist the Shire acknowledge the dedication of our local volunteers.
The event was also an opportunity to announce the winners of the annual Volunteer of the Year awards. The recipients were as follows:

Volunteer of the Year – Winner:

  • Ian Smith

Volunteer of the Year -  Certificates of Appreciation:

  • Alana McMorron
  • Ellen Stirling
  • Jarrod Brindley
  • Maxine Williams
  • Raelene Pethica

Youth Volunteer of the Year – Winners:

  • Eleka Marshall
  • Saffron Sgroi

Youth Volunteer of the Year - Certificate of Appreciation:

  • Maia Sheridan-Hulme
  • Menaase McKenzie-Roe
  • Tyrell McKenzie-Roe

Shire President Ian Earl expressed his gratitude towards the volunteers, saying they were instrumental for many projects, groups, services and facilities to function.
“I would like to take the time to acknowledge that volunteers are the backbone of our community,” he said.
“For many years I have been humbled by the dedicated efforts of community members working across our Shire to assist others and to make our Shire a better place.”
The Shire thanks event supporters:

  • Department of Communities
  • Artzability Margaret River
  • Margaret River Camera Club
  • The Shire also thanks businesses who donated more than $3000 worth of refreshments and gifts for the event:
  • Arlewood
  • Cape Grace Wines
  • Coles
  • Colonial Brewing Company
  • Cullen Wines
  • Dale Alcock Homes
  • Devils Lair
  • Foodroom
  • Grace Farm
  • Howard Park
  • IGA Riverfresh
  • Johnno B Biscuit
  • Margaret River Beverages
  • Margaret River Book Shop
  • Margaret River Chocolate Company
  • Margaret River Hemp Company
  • Margarets Forest Apartments
  • Providore
  • St John Ambulance Margaret River
  • Sunflowers Animal Farm
  • Vasse Felix
  • Victory Point Wines
  • Willow Grill
  • Yahava KoffeeWorks

On Sunday 8 December 2019, seven local Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade members were deployed to as part of a South West and Lower South West Task Force to assist with Forrestania fire fighting efforts.
The members, whose home brigades include Cowaramup VBFB, Witchcliffe VBFB, Karridale VBFB, Kudardup VBFB and Wallcliffe VBFB weredeployed with the Kudardup 4.4 and the Cowaramup 4.4 fire truck appliances.
Shire of Augusta Margaret River Community Emergency Service Manager Adam Jasper said taskforce members been working on frontline firefighting duties as well as strengthening containment lines by back burning.
“Thank you to all the brigade members who put up their hands for this deployment and thank you to brigade leadership for helping to put theses crews together at short notice,” he said.
“We offer our best regards to both the taskforce members and the fire-affected community of Forrestania.
“These fires are stark reminder of the risk of fire to our own community and we urge all our local residents to consider what their own fire plans now.
“In the event of fire impacting your property ]consider if you will stay and defend, or if you will evacuate.
“There is a wealth of online resources that can help with making a fire plan.
“I encourage everyone to take just five minutes with their family members or housemates to consider what actions you will take if you are affected by a fire.”
User-friendly fire planning resources are available at https://www.dfes.wa.gov.au/firechat
For more information contact the Shire at 9780 5255 or at amrshire@amrshire.wa.gov.au
It is expected about half of the South West and Lower South West Task Force members will return home tomorrow (Thursday 12 December 2019), with the remaining deployment members to return home by Sunday 15 December. 

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Postal Address

PO Box 61
Margaret River WA 6285

Margaret River

41 Wallcliffe Road
Monday to Friday
9am-4pm
Ph 08 9780 5255
Fax 08 9757 2512

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66 Allnut Terrace
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