Media releases

Community members are being asked to share their views on what they think are the most important elements in building a creative and culturally-diverse community. 
The feedback received by the Shire of Augusta Margaret River will be used to inform a review of the Shire’s ‘Creative Blueprint’ (2014-2018) and supporting policies. The ‘Creative Blueprint’ focuses on enhancing the area’s cultural participation and vibrancy through arts and culture initiatives, events and infrastructure.
There will be both online and face-to-face opportunities for the community to share their thoughts.

Please visit YourSay to access the existing documents and share your thoughts

Join the Art and Culture Community Forum where facilitator Niomi O’Hara will host an interactive discussion on the future of art and culture in the Shire. This event is open to all and light refreshments are included.
Tuesday 5 March 2019
5:30 – 7pm
Margaret River Council Chambers
Wallcliffe Road, Margaret River
Please RSVP to Shire Community Development Officer, Jessica Black on (08) 9780 5276 or

Shire Community Development Officer, Jessica Black said that art and culture is an important aspect of our community. It fosters personal development, social cohesion, health and wellbeing, economic prosperity and local identity.
“Arts and culture is a way of expressing who our community is: our people, our values, our region, and our history,” she said.
“It’s what sets us apart and makes us uniquely Augusta-Margaret River.”
For further details please contact the Shire on (08) 9780 5255 or

The Shire of Augusta Margaret River is seeking new members for its Community Access and Inclusion Reference Group (CAIRG), a community based reference group for consultation on access and inclusion issues within the region.
CAIRG membership is open to members of the public who may themselves experience barriers or have an interest in access and inclusion for people with a disability, seniors, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, Aboriginal Australians and other groups. 
Shire Community Development Officer Katie Taylor said she is particularly hoping for new members from Karridale to Augusta and surrounds, and/or people living with a disability.
“The group’s existing membership is predominantly from Margaret River, Cowaramup and Gnarabup/Prevelly,” she said.
“We really hope to get some new members to represent the south of the Shire as the demographics, facilities and services are quite variable between the different townsites.
“The Shire can assist with travel costs for those experiencing difficulty accessing transport to attend the quarterly meetings.”
Ms Taylor said the key role of the CAIRG is to identify barriers to people accessing and being involved with Shire services, events, buildings, facilities, information, communication, employment and opportunities to participate in the community, and to develop strategies aimed at reducing these barriers.
“Shire staff attend the meetings and consult with the CAIRG on various projects and developments such as new or upgrades to Shire infrastructure, services and facilities.
“It’s a valuable platform for people that may experience barriers to access and inclusion to have their voices heard and ensures that Shire services are adaptive and responsive to community needs.”
“The CAIRG is a useful forum for information sharing, providing feedback and advice on access and inclusion matters and acts as an advocacy group to improve the social wellbeing of our community, creating a welcoming and inclusive place to live, play, work and visit.”

The first CAIRG meeting for 2019 will be held:
Wednesday 13 February
10 – 11.30am
Mainbreak Meeting Room
Shire of Augusta Margaret River Civic Administration Centre
Wallcliffe Road, Margaret River

Interested community members can contact Shire Community Development Officer Katie Taylor on 9780 5255 or by email at

Beachgoers who require emergency assistance will now be able to promptly guide responding services to their specific location, following the Shire’s installation of 24 Beach Emergency Number (BEN) signs.
The code on each BEN signs is a unique location identifier that corresponds to data available on systems used by emergency services.   
Shire of Augusta Margaret Coordinator Environment Landcare Services John McKinney said 11 other local governments have so far participated in the State-supported project, that is designed to save lives by improving response times.
“In the event of an emergency, dial 000 and quote the unique code and specific location information,” he said.
“Where possible, the caller should wait at the beach access point until emergency service crews arrive.
“BEN signs can also be referred to when reporting shark sightings to Water Police on 9442 8600. 
“This will enable relevant local authorities to act quickly and implement beach closures with accurate beach location information.”
The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions is also installing signs on State-managed foreshore in the Local Government Area, bringing the total number of local BEN sign installations to 48. Over 1,100 signs will be installed across the metropolitan and south west region.
More information about the BEN system is available at

Residents of the South West are being reminded that following the unseasonal heavy rainfall of the past week there will be increased mosquito activity and a greater risk of mosquito-borne disease.

Residents are urged to be alert and to take extra precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes which will be active adults in 7 to 14 days’ time.  

The Shire of Augusta Margaret River Coordinator of Environmental Health, Chris McAtee, said that while many parts of Western Australia had enjoyed below average numbers of mosquitoes this summer, higher mosquito numbers were expected to return following unseasonal rains.

“Recent substantial rainfall combined with increasing temperatures in the coming weeks are likely to favour increased breeding of mosquitoes,” Ms McAtee said. “Mosquitoes in Perth and the South West can transmit Ross River virus (RRV) and Barmah Forest virus (BFV),” she said. “Given there is no vaccine or specific cure for either disease, the best way to avoid infection is to prevent mosquito bites.”

Symptoms of RRV and BFV include painful or swollen joints, sore muscles, skin rashes, fever, fatigue and headaches. Symptoms can last for weeks or months and the only way to properly diagnose the viruses is by having a specific blood test. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should visit their GP. The Department of Health’s “Fight the Bite” campaign encourages individuals to protect themselves and their families from mosquitoes by adopting the following simple measures:

avoid outdoor exposure particularly around dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active

wear protective (long, loose-fitting, light coloured) clothing when outdoors

apply a personal repellent containing diethyl toluamide (DEET) or picaridin to exposed skin

empty or cover any standing water around the home or holiday accommodation to reduce mosquito breeding

ensure insect screens are installed and remain in good condition

use mosquito nets or mosquito-proof tents when camping or sleeping outdoors

ensure infants and children are adequately protected against mosquito bites, preferably with suitable clothing, bed nets or other forms of insect screening.

For more information on ‘Fight the Bite’ and how to prevent mosquito bites visit:


Shire of Augusta Margaret River Councillors will consider options to progress the Margaret River Main Street Redevelopment Project at the 30 January 2019 Special Meeting of Council after all tenders submitted for the works came in over budget.

Funding for the Main Street project, which aims to improve traffic flow, aid pedestrian access, address major drainage and flood management issues and generally improve the vibrancy of the town center, was awarded five years ago.

However, commencement of the project has been dependent on the completion of the Perimeter Road, which has unfortunately has been delayed. As a result, during the past five years construction costs for the Main Street project have increased beyond the amount awarded for the project. While the funding shortfall will result in a delay to the start date, Shire Project Manager Dr. Helen Whitbread said the community should remain positive about the project proceeding. “We are disappointed that we are unable to proceed at this moment  and sympathise particularly with local business owners and community members, as we know there is a strong desire to see this project through to fruition as soon as possible” she said. 

 “There are a range of options on the table as to how best to proceed, so we will need time to consider what our optimal solution is. We’ve got one shot to get this right and we need to take stock at this critical point in the project rather than try and rush it. We are going to be living with the outcome for years to come.”

To potentially address the issue, the officer’s report that is up for Council consideration recommends the following options for adoption by Council:

That the Shire rejects all tenders on the basis that none of the prices tendered came within the budgeted and currently funded amount for construction; thereby  

Allowing the CEO to enter into negotiations with the highest rated company bidding for the work, with a view to identify cost savings to meet the Shire’s financial requirements; and

Authorising the CEO to investigate additional funding options for the project, including, but not limited to, reallocation of funding from other capital budget areas listed in the Shire’s Long Term Financial Plan; as well as

For the CEO to investigate additional matching contributions to the budget shortfall from the State Government.

Dr Whitbread advised that communication was ongoing with local industry and business representatives about the project to ensure people remain informed. To that end, a Main Street Project Public Information Session will be held at the Shire Offices on Thursday February 7, between 5.30pm and 6.30pm.  

“We encourage interested members of the public to come along to receive the latest information about the project.” “We also have open lines of communications with our existing funding bodies,” she said, “and feel very fortunate for the support received from the State Government and South West Development Commission to date.”


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Postal Address

PO Box 61
Margaret River WA 6285

Margaret River

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


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