Shire Presidents Report
February Weather Emergency and Avon River Flooding
Record breaking unseasonal rainfall during February left damage in its wake and significant flooding of the Avon River, which rose higher and flooded longer than the January 2000 storms. Evaluation of damage is incomplete at this stage (as some of the infrastructure was still underwater!) Thankyou to Shire staff, DFES, SES volunteers and community members who worked hard in dealing with the local emergency, providing assistance where needed in town and around the district.
Community information regarding the exciting Beverley Cornerstone project is included as a centerpiece in this edition of the Blarney.
Proposed Removal of Licence and Stamp Duty Concessions for Local Government
The Department of Transport advised that vehicle licence concessions currently available to WA Local Government Authorities will cease on 1 July 2017. These changes were quietly included in the State 2016-17 Budget and have only recently come to light. Emergency vehicles, limited use vehicles and those with approved wheelchair hoists or ramps will not be affected. Whilst the concession removal will vary between Councils, it would translate to an additional annual cost to the Shire of Beverley for licencing of approximately $14,600 and an average annual cost due to removal of stamp duty concessions on plant of approximately $24,000. This is extremely disappointing for communities, especially as Local Government already pick up the slack in many ways on behalf of their constituents (for example retaining Doctors and Medical facilities locally). Local Government Zones have been actively supporting the WA Local Government Association’s advocacy to have this decision reviewed. Electors and communities should be up in arms about this new round of cost shifting to prop up the States difficulty with its own finances.
Weeds & Mosquitos
The rain has encouraged masses of summer weeds and unfortunately there will be mosquitos. The Shire has commenced spraying some of the reserves and is investigating mosquito control. Residents are strongly encouraged to be vigilant in their summer weed management (especially caltrop!)
Council Meeting Minutes
As a matter of interest minutes from monthly Council meetings, including unconfirmed minutes, are located in the library at the Shire administration office. For several years now they have also been available online via the Shire website.
Waste Bins 240Lt vs 140Lt
Avon Waste was awarded the Refuse and Recycling Contract for Beverley in December 2016 for a period of three years. As the company is replacing all generic bins (green lids) with new ones, an option was provided to the Shire of scaling back to a smaller 140Lt sized bin, which some Shires in the Wheatbelt have done. Whilst this may assist in diverting material from the Beverley refuse site, Council has supported retention of the 240lt bins. The community is strongly encouraged to recycle wherever possible.
Beverley Tourism Framework 2016 – 2020
The time required to prepare grant applications for the Cornerstone project has delayed development of a “Beverley Brand”, which is an action within the Beverley Tourism Framework. Whilst some progress had been made, the Tourism Steering Committee will subsequently be assisting with development of this aspect of the Framework prior to disbanding. Another Framework action proposes the formation of a local Tourism Advisory Group to implement the Beverley Tourism Business Plan.
Australia Day Event at Beverley Pool
Top day, bumper crowd, user friendly shade areas, great inflatable, fantastic to see so many locals. Just some of the comments which have come through following another very successful Australia Day event held at the Beverley Swimming Pool. Thank you to Brad and Contract Aquatic for assisting the Shire and organizing this very popular event which attracted around 350 people.
Congratulations to recipients of the most recent Beverley Community Grants round:-
- Alex Miles Lodge Committee for installation of a shed for resident’s mobility devices which includes power for recharging batteries
- Beverley Community Resource Centre for the 2017 Beverley Triathlon
CR DEE RIDGWAY