Media releases

Core features of the 2020-21 budget passed by the Council this week include no increase to rates, no cuts to services, select business fee waivers and new funds to aid community recovery through the Coronavirus pandemic.

Shire President Ian Earl said the Council’s key priority is to continue supporting the local community through this challenging time.

“It’s been a year unlike any other and as a Council we’re focused on helping our community and local businesses navigate the road to recovery,” he said.

A $21.6m investment in capital works over the next 12 months will help stimulate the local economy.

Highlights of the 2020-21 Budget include:

  • No rate rises.
  • $21.6m in capital works focused on supporting local construction businesses and local jobs that includes;
  • Over $8.3m for road, footpath and drainage renewal and upgrades
  • $1.3m renewing and upgrading community buildings
  • $1m to construct a synthetic hockey turf training facility
  • $160k for solar panel installation on the Shire’s admin building
  • $700k improvements at Davis Road landfill.
  • $1.4m allocated towards COVID-19 Community Care Package
  • $8m to deliver community services and facilities including Libraries, Recreation Centres, Out of School Hours Care, Arts & Culture, Beach Lifeguards, maintaining parks, reserves and streetscapes.
  • $860k for environmental related projects and contributions to environmental groups.
  • $557k to support halls associations, community groups, youth services, capacity building, access and inclusion and age friendly programs.
  • $230k for iconic and community events.

Details of how remaining funds from the Council’s COVID-19 Community Care Package will be determined at the next council meeting.

Shire Chief Executive Officer Stephanie-Addison Brown said the Shire’s healthy financial position helped deliver a range of measures to support the community whilst delivering a balanced budget.

“The 2020-21 balanced budget seeks to build upon the pandemic recovery measures implemented during the last quarter of 2019-20 while also ensuring prudent financial management for the continued operational sustainability of the Shire,” she said.

The Shire has been reviewing its face to face customer services in Augusta to ensure it is meeting the diverse needs of the local community.
From Monday 20 July, the Augusta Office will open every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9am to 4pm (closed 12-1pm for lunch).
This change aligns the services to share similar opening days as the Augusta hydropool and Library. Both Recreation and Library Services are impacted by State Government COVID-19 directions and are still operating within reduced service conditions due to cleaning requirements.
A community survey was hosted for two weeks over June 2020 to provide community feedback and insight into this service change. This also considered facility usage data to understand local needs and service demand.
Acting CEO James Shepherd says the change will improve access to services and enable further service improvements over time.
“Face to face Shire services in Augusta are an important contact point for community members living in the townsite and surrounds including the Kudardup, Karridale, Scott River, Deepdene and Molloy Island areas,” he said.
“We want to ensure face to face services can continue to be delivered in Augusta in a way that is sustainable and meaningful for the community.
“We must plan and routinely review Shire services so that they are responsive to the changing environment, relative to population size and need.”

For more information please contact the Customer Service Team on (08) 9780 5255 or by e-mail at  


Pledge Local!

The Local-Is-More campaign is calling on locals to take the online pledge and support local traders throughout the Augusta Margaret River shire.

The campaign which went live last month is looking to residents to help boost the sentiment of the campaign by pledging to support local business and sharing the message on Facebook and Instagram.

Shire President, Ian Earl explains that the call-out to sign the pledge is an important step for the campaign, as a public declaration of the commitment to support local business shows our traders that we are behind them and want them to succeed.

“We live in a hardworking community that has been built on the backbone of locals looking after each other”, he said.

“It is now time for us to step up and say thank you to the local families who make our region what it is today and get behind them to keep them thriving”.

Local businesses can be part of the campaign by heading to the “Get Involved” section of the Local-Is-More website and providing  a few details about their business. Eligible businesses will be provided with access to marketing material and an opportunity to share their story through the campaign social media.

An official Margaret River Local-Is-More launch will be held at the River Hotel on Thursday 30 July from 5:30pm. Locals and business owners are invited to come along, learn more about the initiative and celebrate the local businesses in the area. Tickets include a drink, nibbles and live music by local band Burke and Wise. Contact the Margaret River Chamber of Commerce and Industry at for more details about the event.

The Local-Is-More initiative has come together as a combined effort between the Shire, the Margaret River Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Transition Margaret River and is a growing alliance that now includes Augusta Chamber of Commerce, Cowaramup Business Association and Margaret River Regional Producers Association.
Visit today to take the Choose Local Pledge, or share your local business story with the community.

Follow @local-is-more on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date with the campaign.


Shire President Ian Earl, signs the Local-Is-More Pledge 

A new underpass beneath Carters Road which will provide safe passage for users of the  Wadandi Track is one step closer to becoming a reality after Council endorsed the findings of the Wadandi Track-Carters Road Underpass Feasibility Study at the 24 June 2020 Ordinary Meeting.

The endorsement which supported the consideration of this project in the Long Term Financial Plan, is the first step toward progressing the project, enabling Officers to seek grant funding for the project.

Asset Services Project Planning Officer, Susan Elton explained that the purpose of the Wadandi Track–Carters Road Underpass Feasibility Study was to provide a detailed understanding of the feasibility of a pedestrian and cycle underpass where the Wadandi Track crosses Carters Road and includes  construction ready detailed designs, costings and a comprehensive implementation program.

“The development of this feasibility study was made possible by a WA Department of Transport Bicycle Network Grant, awarded in 2019,” she said.

The grant, which is available to local governments throughout WA, provides funding for up to 50% of total project costs, for the design and implementation of bicycle network infrastructure that will increase safety, accessibility and tourism opportunities.

Ms Elton will now investigate further grant funding opportunities to get the project off the ground.

“We will be seeking grant funding for 100% of the project in order to move forward,” she said.

“The enhancement of this iconic track brings great benefit to the local community and visitors to our region and we are hopeful that funding organisations will see value in supporting the construction.”

The underpass is proposed as 21m long, constructed from 18 reinforced box culverts, 1.2m wide. The culvert will be 3m wide by 2.4m high in order to provide safe passage of two-way bicycle and pedestrian traffic. Rock pitching will be used to blend the culvert into the existing landscape with lighting consisting of solar powered LED dome lights. This solution developed by Stantec Australia Pty Ltd (Stantec) has a design life of 100 years.

Margaret River HEART, the Margaret River Civic Administration building and Surfer’s Point will light up in pink and teal to help raise awareness of a rare group of cancers called Sarcoma.

The Shire of Augusta Margaret River is joining forces with others across the state, lighting buildings and surrounds under the campaign #lightforsarcoma2020.

Shire President Ian Earl said the Shire was supporting the campaign to help promote awareness of the cancer, particularly devastating for the 11-25 year age group.

“WA Sarcoma Awareness Week is all about shining a light on this lesser known form of cancer,” he said.

“According to the experts, early detection is important. 

“If you have a lump or unexplained pain for three weeks best visit your doctor,” he said.

West Australian Sarcoma Awareness Week runs from June 29th – July 5th.

For more information about Sarcoma and to donate visit

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Margaret River WA 6285

Margaret River

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