President's Report

May 2023 


Roadworks and Bridges

Prior to the recent storm, the Council had a number of bridges that had reached a stage of needing attention. Funds to attend to these are only available through the Commonwealth and State Governments.

Since the storm, major damage has been caused to various roads within the Shire with culverts washed away and severe washouts being left. A review by Shire staff has determined that the total cost to repair these roads is of the order of $3,000,000. Applications have been lodged to have our area declared a disaster area so that the Shire can qualify for emergency funding from the State and Commonwealth. Unfortunately, this process is complex and time consuming and the Council is not able to provide a timetable for when these repairs will be carried out. The urgency is acute as many residents who travel these roads will be aware.

As a result of this funding issue, the bridge on Talbot Road which was marked for replacement and was due to be carried out in the next financial year, has been put on hold by Main Roads. The original estimate to replace this bridge was $2,700,000 but Main Roads reviewed the estimate to $6,000,000 based on similar projects currently around the State.

While many in the community might think the Shire is dragging its feet in having all these repairs carried out, I can assure you we can only work within the bureaucratic framework created by the State and Commonwealth and sadly, it is not underpinned by speed.

I would like to conclude by sincerely thanking all those community members who helped the Shire in clearing roads and debris generally to enable roads to be opened in such a quick timeframe. Such assistance is unique to our communities and greatly appreciated.


The Workforce

Since the Covid years, employers throughout Australia have come against the shortage of people able or even willing to come back into the workforce. At the Shire, this has shown up in difficulty locating plant operators and gardeners. I would like to thank those former employees who have come out of retirement to fill vacancies and help out in the short term.

As of writing we are pleased to have been able to engage two people to work in the gardening team and two plant operators.


Integrated Planning

In the previous month’s report, I gave notice that the Community Strategic Plan was now due for review and renewal. This process begins on Wednesday 26th April with Council engaging Mrs. Caroline Robinson to begin the process. Further community engagement will be on the following date: Thursday 8th June @ 6:00 pm in the meeting room at Cornerstone, but please check with the Shire website, Facebook, and electronic notice board outside the Cornerstone.


Fairbridge Festival

The Committee of the Fairbridge Festival recently visited Beverley to asses our capacity to stage the event. We have been notified that we are now on a short list of four.


Easter weekend

Congratulations to the Tennis Club and Committee of the Beverley Station Arts, for their successful events over the Easter weekend. The Art Exhibition was the 54th and there was a record 375 entries. I was privileged to have been requested to open the exhibition on the Thursday night where a large crowd was present. The Tennis Club conducted their 89th tournament and received 257 entries which is one of the largest. So, next year is a BIG one!

Finally, a big thank you to those involved in organising the Weekend Markets on the Saturday of the weekend. Had the street buzzing and a large crowd enjoyed the event.


Cr David White

Shire President