President's Report

August 2019

2019/2020 Budget

Council adopted the 2019/2020 Budget at the July Council Meeting, again supporting a 2.5% overall increase in rate revenue. It is becoming increasingly difficult to retain this modest increase amid ongoing cost pressures for Local Government. The budgetary process has been underway since February including road inspection, periodical meetings of Council Committees to determine the Capital program, review of services, facilities, fees and charges and final deliberation which required significant changes to proposed projects and capital works to achieve a balanced budget. The 2019/2020 Budget is available on this website or from the Shire Office.  

 

Rate Notices

Rate notices will be received soon, if not already. A 10% discount for rates paid in full by the due date of 2nd September 2019 has again been offered. An instalment plan is available but is ineligible for the 10% discount and instalments unpaid by due dates incur penalty interest. Please note that the percentage increase in total rate revenue of 2.5% may not translate to the same percentage increase for individual properties due to changes in UV and GRV valuations by the Valuer General, land amalgamations and subdivisions.

 

Shire Stand at the Beverley Agricultural Show – Saturday 24th August 2019

The Shire will have a stand at this year’s show where Councillors and staff will be in attendance throughout the day. An array of information will be available including plans for future projects such as the proposed Youth Activity Precinct. We look forward to seeing you there.

Local Government Elections 19th October 2019

Changes to the Local Government Act require candidates intending to nominate in Local Government elections to participate in an online induction then undertake compulsory training in the first 12 months of office should they be elected. As yet no information has been provided by the Department of Local Government about the online induction. Hopefully potential candidates are not deterred from nominating as it is an opportunity to gain understanding of what is required and be confident that base level training modules will prepare successful candidates for the important role they have just been elected into on behalf of their community. Unlike State Government, elected members may straight away be making planning and financial decisions on behalf of their communities which can be somewhat daunting as was the case when I first commenced. At our first Council meeting (which included 4 very new Councillors) decisions were being made regarding construction of a new shire house for the pool manager.

 

Youth Activity Area Update

The Youth Activity Area project is included in the 2019/2020 budget for an estimated cost of $650,000. The Shire will be seeking external funding toward implementation. Thanks must go to the Working Group which included Councillors, Community members and staff, for their commitment, investigation and feedback regarding this long awaited project. Thankyou to the many participants, young and young at heart, involved in the extensive community consultation. A Concept Plan is available for viewing at the Shire Office or website.

 

Ag Museum Steering Committee

A Museum Steering Committee has been formalised to progress development, promotion and operational functions of the Agricultural Museum at Avondale. The Shire took over the Collection from the Agriculture Department on behalf of the community when management of the property was transferred in 2009 to National Trust WA. The museum continued to be overseen by the Avondale Farm Project Association however this organisation has now been wound up and funds transferred to the Shire for the purpose of museum development.

 

Town Hall Kitchen Refurbishment

The Town Hall kitchen refurbishment is due for completion by the end of August and it’s looking great. A new fee has been introduced in the 2019/2020 Fees & Charges for hire of the whole complex over 3 days for events such as weddings and large functions. The Shire is planning to market the facility and what our town has to offer.

 

Grass Tree Replacement at Cornerstone

Four dead grass trees at the Cornerstone building are due to be replaced by the Landscaping Contractor and the Shire.

 

Western Power Drone Trials

The Northam and Geraldton regions have been chosen by Western Power for a trial using drones as a new way of inspecting the network to speed up the process of locating faults and reducing duration of outages. The trial is expected to run from July to December 2019.

 

Destination WA

Destination WA on Sunday 14th July including segments on Beverley and York as the presenters commenced a journey of the Avon Valley. Well worth a look if you haven’t seen it yet. youtu.be/J3TY5AN2n-Y

President

CR DEE RIDGWAY
Shire President