Media releases

The Shire of Augusta Margaret River’s Strategic Community Plan for 2040 was endorsed by Council on Wednesday 22 September 2021.
This strategic document has reached the final stage of adoption following further community feedback, which saw 51 formal submissions received during July and August with the majority being in favour of the plan.
The draft plan was compiled over the last year through the Our Place 2040 project, which engaged 1,570 local residents about their visions and priorities for the future.
Feedback was gathered by way of online, notice board and take-home surveys, a series of community place workshops, working groups and youth engagement activities.
The document has also been guided in large part by the previous 2036 plan which was developed in 2016 through a dedicated Community Reference Group and written in-part by the community.
The process has carefully focused on refining the community vision and the role of the Shire organisation, especially across different local places.
Shire of Augusta Margaret River Chief Executive Officer Stephanie Addison-Brown said collaboration between key decision makers of the Shire and the community is essential in planning for our future.
“The Shire reviews its strategic focus every four years - we are proud to work closely with our community in order to do this constructively,” she said.
“The most common sentiment from the community was the ongoing impact on our environment and community from tourism in the area, along with managing a growing community.
“Within this the Shire is aware of the need to become more place-based: recognising our community is geographically diverse and there are varying needs at play across our townsites and our agricultural and coastal communities.
“The plan shows the Shire’s focus to approach these opportunities and challenges with four key focus areas for action: Environment, People, Place and Performance.”
Ms Addison-Brown said she sincerely appreciated the time and effort put in by all project contributors.
“Thank you to everyone who has contributed and helped bring this key planning document to fruition,” she said.
“Every piece of feedback received has been recorded and will continue to be considered in the Shire’s future planning.”
Ms Addison-Brown also commended the work of Community and Corporate Services Officers, Shire Director James Shepherd and Shire Community and Corporate Planner Stacey Hutt and independent facilitator Allan Adams from BeyondIQ.
For more information about the project, visit

Local residents will soon be consulted about proposed changes to dog exercise areas in the Shire of Augusta Margaret River.

The changes are being proposed in response to ongoing community feedback to the Shire which consistently indicates considerable support for more off-lead opportunities and protection of beach nesting birds.

Shire Corporate and Community Services Director James Shepherd said comments about dog exercise areas were collated specifically from last year’s Community Strategic Plan 2040 consultation, the 2019 Community Perceptions Survey, and the recent Youth Perceptions Survey.

“It’s clear that dog owners are seeking more access to dog-friendly facilities,” he said.

“Our hope is that by providing options that are close to townsites and people’s homes it will reduce instances of non-compliance.

“This includes instances where people inappropriately have dogs off lead on trails and in environmentally sensitive areas.

“We are also conscious of the increasing demands for our sporting grounds and are trying to find ways to meet the needs of all groups.

“This may mean that we have to look for different locations to enable us to meet conflicting demands.”

The dog exercise areas being put forward for further community comment, by locality, are: 

Margaret River

  • The retention of the Georgette and Hillier dog exercise areas
  • The addition of the open space on the corner of Leschenaultia Ave and Brookfield Ave


  • The retention of the section of Cowaramup Oval
  • The addition of the reserve bounded by Honeytree Grove, Brockman Rd and Pioneer Rd
  • The addition of Parkwater Oval on Currawong St


  • The retention of Riflebutts and the Prevelly Dog Beach
  • The addition of Gnarabup Back Beach accessed via Reef Dr car park
  • The prohibition of dogs from the south end of back beach to the commencement of State Government reserve on Boodjidup beach.

Mr Shepherd said the intention of the proposed changes was to acknowledge the growth in population and development of new neighbourhoods.

“There are more people here than 10 years ago, and that means more furry family members to account for,” he said.

“We’ve really focussed on adding more places and have only included one extra prohibited area which we know is a Hooded Plover nesting area.

“They are extremely vulnerable to disturbance and we need to do everything we can to support the breeding activities of these threatened birds.”

Letters will now be emailed and posted to community members to seek feedback on the proposals.

Residents may wish to further note the temporary use of Nippers Oval is currently under review and officers are actively investigating options for a new site in close proximity to the Margaret River CBD.

Dog exercise areas in Augusta and Gracetown are proposed to stay the same.

More information about dog ownership, including available exercise areas, visit


The Shire of Augusta Margaret River has announced its next round of Sustainability Grants.

Designed to support greater environmental and social wellbeing within the local economy, the Grants are aligned with four priority areas; Circular Economy, Fair and Inclusive Economy, Vibrant Townsites and Successful and Resilient economy.

Nick Logan, Director Sustainable Development and Infrastructure at the Shire of Augusta Margaret River believes that the Grants are a vital part of the Shire’s commitment to protecting and enhancing the unique natural environment and biodiversity of the region.

“We want these grants to be the catalyst for new, environmentally sustainable business practices across the region,” he said.

“We have a very engaged, creative and hard-working business community. We’re really looking forward to hearing about the innovative business ideas that these grants could support.”

The Shire is committed to a fair, equitable and transparent assessment process and has identified four key criteria; alignment with grant objectives (25%), achievability (25%), value for money (25%) and ‘broad benefit’, showing a long-lasting or significant benefit for the public good beyond the funding period (25%).

Grants will be considered for registered businesses and incorporated, not-for-profit organisations within the Shire of Augusta Margaret River.

A maximum of $5,000 will be considered per business application (unless otherwise stated) and a maximum of $10,000 for a non-profit organisation delivering programs for a group of businesses. Applicants are required to submit at least 50% matched funding.

The deadline for the Sustainability Grants is 3pm 22 October. No late submissions will be accepted. Full details of the 2021-22 Sustainable Economy Grant Guidelines can be found here

Applicants are encouraged to contact the Shire to discuss their application before submitting. For assistance contact Saul Cresswell, Shire of Augusta Margaret River Sustainable Economy Officer on 08 9780 5250.

The pedestrian access ramp at the corner of Fearn Avenue is now complete and ready for use.

This ramp provides universal access from the Fearn Avenue pedestrian area and adjacent car park to the Fearn Avenue public toilets, retail and service businesses located on Charles West Avenue.

The pedestrian access ramp is a vital piece of community infrastructure which allows easier access to Margaret River town centre and provides practical access for a broad range of users including people with a disability.  

The Shire of Augusta Margaret River’s Director Sustainable Development and Infrastructure, Nick Logan explains,

“Our path network is designed to provide efficient access throughout our region. This pedestrian ramp is a critical element of the Margaret River pedestrian network, safely linking popular areas of the town centre and making the facilities here more accessible from the Main Street,” he said.

Federal Member for Forrest Nola Marino said the Federal Government acted quickly to make available funding for much needed community projects to help maintain jobs and build our way out of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This funding has given the Shire of Augusta Margaret River the opportunity to invest and upgrade infrastructure like the pedestrian universal access ramp on the corner of Fearn Avenue.”

This project was made possible through the Australian Government Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program (LRCI Program) which, in a bid to support local resilience in the times of COVID-19, provides funding for local infrastructure projects. The Shire and its communities have received funding from the Australian Government via this program for a number of public infrastructure projects including pathway upgrades, refurbishment, the replacement of Wadandi bridges and Margaret River bowling club roof replacement. 

For further information please contact Project Planning Officer – Asset Services, Susan Elton [email protected] 9757 2512.

The Cocoon Gallery for Emerging Artists at Margaret River Library is now exhibiting the latest works of emerging local artist Bethany Collins.  

The artist’s first solo exhibition, Stay Golden, is on display at the Cocoon Gallery from now until 31 October.

While creating has always been one of Bethany’s passions, at the beginning of the mandatory Covid-19 lockdown in WA last year, Bethany stocked up on art supplies and started to find inspiration in a slower pace of life.

Growing up on a farm around a resourceful and creative family meant improvisation and imagination came naturally. Bethany now experiments with different styles and mediums despite not having had any formal training.

Bethany said the paintings featured in ‘Stay Golden’ depict feminine and natural subjects and are heavily textured with acrylics mixed with modelling paste.

“I started using acrylics and then slowly began to experiment with 3D texture as I wanted something that was not only eye catching, but also intriguing to the hand,” she said.

“I tend to use a restrained but modern colour palette with mostly pinks, golds and browns and my recent works are influenced by life’s simple pleasures and the beauty and inspiration in everyday surroundings.”

The emerging artist has been part of The Hive Margaret River Art Collective for over a year, collaborating in their two group exhibitions. Bethany’s works have also been showcased at Fibonacci Art Gallery in Fremantle.

The artist will be in conversation with Natalia Ford at the exhibition launch on Thursday 23 September from 6pm to 7pm and all are welcome to attend with RSVPs to be sent by email to the artist on [email protected]. Interviews can also be arranged with the artist on 0458 256 616 or [email protected].

The Margaret River Library is an easily accessible venue, and the community are welcome to view this latest free exhibition at the Cocoon Gallery at any time during library opening hours.

The Cocoon Gallery for Emerging Artists at Margaret River Library is now exhibiting the latest works of emerging local artist Bethany Collins. High resolution image here.

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PO Box 61
Margaret River WA 6285

Margaret River

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