Shire Presidents Report

June 2017

Removal of Licence and Stamp Duty Concessions for Local Government

A letter from Treasurer Ben Wyatt MLA to the Shire President of Corrigin, who chairs Regional Road Group South of which Beverley is a member, indicates the new State Government will continue to implement a decision made by the former State Government to discontinue vehicle licence fee and vehicle licence duty concessions for Local Government Authorities (LGAs). This will affect LGAs to varying degrees depending on the number of vehicles they have, and as reported in the March Blarney, it is expected to equate to an additional annual cost in the Shire of Beverley’s budget for licencing of approximately $14,600 and an average annual cost due to removal of stamp duty concessions on plant of approximately $24,000. These increases could be funded by increasing fees, charges and rates (which we are working very hard to keep to a minimum), or they could be absorbed by reducing some other service or capital works. The Treasurer claims this decision needs to be implemented due to the requirement for urgent State budget repair and that as “revenues from vehicle licence fees support the cost of constructing, improving and maintaining an ever increasing road network, LGAs will continue to benefit directly from the investment of these revenues in transport infrastructure around the State”. This is ironical as a reduction in the road program could well be where the LGA endeavours to absorb the cost, not to mention the State budget also proposes a reduction in funding to Main Roads. Once again, I say this is extremely disappointing for our residents and ratepayers as Local Government already picks up the slack on behalf of their constituents in many ways.

Council May Meeting

Council had a busy May meeting as various aspects of the 2017/2018 budget were discussed, including proposed fees and charges, and projects in the capital expenditure program, 15 year plant replacement program and 4 year road construction program for inclusion in the budget.

Council also acknowledged the work undertaken by the Tourism Steering Committee to progress development of a “Beverley Brand” and endorsed the preferred message concept and logo as a unique identifier available for use by Beverley tourism stakeholders. More information regarding this project will be provided to stakeholders and community in the very near future.

Staffing Changes

Council and staff have welcomed back Stefan De Beer as Shire Planner following a short time away in Queensland. Stefan’s role has been expanded to include some functions of the Development role following Kathryn McLean’s resignation.

Shire of Beverley Community Grants Open in July

The next round of Community Grants opens on Monday 3rd July and closes on Friday 28th July. Contact the Shire office for further information.

Western Australia Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (WANDRRA)

Following the January/February emergency weather event the Shire engaged the services of Core Business Australia as a matter of urgency to undertake damage assessment and cost estimate to the nature and extent of impairment to the Shire road network. The report is nearing completion and will be forwarded to Main Roads WA for approval for a WANDRRA claim to contribute toward the repair work.

Avondale

It’s pleasing there is more progress occurring across a range of areas in relation to Avondale. A position is being advertised for a part time Executive Liaison Officer, which the Shire and National Trust have agreed to co-fund, to strategically activate and seek funding for implementation of the Avondale Masterplan. The Community Survey has now closed and the collated results will provide valuable information toward Masterplan priorities, and perhaps some new ideas. Work is continuing in the Bush Reserve, including fire hazard reduction, to enable reinstatement of the walk trail. There is the possibility of establishing a volunteer landcare group specifically for the Bush Reserve. Minor maintenance is proposed for the old landcare building to better service groups visiting the property. There are many opportunities to contribute toward the redevelopment of Avondale if you are interested?

Congratulations Morag Whitney

Congratulations to Morag Whitney and the Beverley Historical Society on Morag becoming a finalist in the 2017 State Heritage Awards in the Volunteer Section. The Beverley community is very fortunate to have such a dedicated group donating their time to record, research and retain local history information and artifacts and Morag has been tireless in this task for many years.

Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea … in Beverley

What a great morning it was on Friday 19th May 2017 when the Beverley Health Service and Beverley District High School hosted an Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea fundraising event at the Function and Recreation Centre at the town oval, with proceeds going to the WA Cancer Foundation. The school Cross Country was also held, finishing just before the rain, and the school choir delighted those at the morning tea.

 Cr Dee Ridgway

   CR DEE RIDGWAY
     Shire President