Message from The President

I am pleased to present my President Report for the year ended 30 June 2016.

In my opinion this has been a very progressive year for the Shire of Koorda. As President for the past 5 years, I am proud to highlight the many areas that have been identified as priorities for our community that have been addressed.

Local Government Elections

The next elections are scheduled for October 2017.

Local Government Reform

Local Government reform remains on the agenda and encourages Local Governments to aim to improve their efficiencies. Through NEWROC, the Council continues to work collaboratively with our neighbouring Shires to resource share where ever possible and build a regional approach to issues that impact our region.

Law, Order and Public Safety

Members of the KVBFB have become members of the Wyalkatchem Fire & Rescue with main objective to be trained in road crash rescue. Local Emergency Management Risk Assessments need to be formulated and documented by local governments; this will be completed prior to June 30, 2016.

Health and Welfare Services

The provision of health services continues to be a high priority for Council. Dr Emmanuel Awogun has commenced practicing at the Wyalkatchem and Koorda Surgeries. We have been working closely with Wyalkatchem in formulating an Aged Care Plan, which will assist the elderly to remain in their own communities for longer. We have also been in regular communication with the HACC coordinator to ensure that the residents receive improved assistance. Koorda is a member of the Central Eastern Aged Care Alliance, which is a group of 11 Shires with the aim of providing independent living accommodation to allow local residents to remain in their own community longer.

Federal Assistance Grants

It was very disappointing that the Federal Government has decided to freeze Federal Assistance Grants at the current level for 3 years. This will mean a $900,000 reduction in the funding that would have been received had these grants remained indexed. FAG’s received in 2015 2016 were $1,000,247 and approximately $1,200,000 is allocated for 2016 2017. Total revenue for 15 16 was $2,933,495 and the FAG’s contributes nearly 35% of the total.

As such these funds are vital to the operation and service provision for rural local governments and it was resolved to support WALGA in their campaign to lobby the Federal Government to reconsider placing a freeze on the assistance grants.

Royalties For Regions

Future funding will be dependent on complying with Wheatbelt Development Commission strategies to further development the wheatbelt. Main criteria will be economic and population growth.

Digital Television Retransmission

The digital retransmission equipment is now functioning adequately.

Finances

Council finalised the year with a $5,526,706 credit balance as at 30 June 2016. Council’s current policy is to endeavour to fund capital asset expenditure from Municipal and Reserve Funds rather than the use of borrowings, and continue their policy of transferring funds to various reserves.

Recreation

As a part of our forward planning, Council is currently reviewing the sporting facilities in the town. So we can cater for all sporting and community groups into the future a study will be undertaken to assess any additions and improvements that may be required. Concept plans have been presented to Council and the strategy for future upgrades is a major consideration.

Transport

CBH bin to bin transfers may continue to cause damage to our roads (in particular Koorda Mollerin Road). We will continue our seal widening on our priority roads and also the resealing of others, determined by finance and traffic numbers. Clearing and widening of our unsealed roads will continue as a part of our long term forward plan. Changes to clearing of Vegetation Legislation affecting this type of work will impact on Council. Staff has completed a large portion of the annual maintenance grading.

The program to reseal the town streets, construct kerbing and concrete footpaths is continuing, so too is the replacement of old dull street lights with brighter lights in strategic positions for greater safety for our residents.Roads to Recovery Program is Federal Government funding allocated to local governments to assist with all aspects of road works and has provided much needed funding to endeavour to maintain the roads at a level that ensures as safe as conditions as resources will allow.

Council has continued their forward planned policy of replacing/purchasing plant and equipment items to ensure the flexibility needed to enable Councils workforce to carry out the expanded program, and to ensure reasonable asset management.

I would like to thank and congratulate my Deputy and fellow Councillors for their support and input that enabling Council to attempt to deliver the services and meet the requirements of our community. It was with regret that Councillor Janet Brooks was not re-elected, however we welcome Crs Buster Cooper and Lea Smith and hope that they enjoy servicing their community.

We continue to review our forward plans which are in reality part of our strategic objectives.

I urge all community members to provide feedback to Council to assist us in our decision making process and encourage you to contact Councillors or the Shire Office of any concerns or issues that should be addressed or considered. Your contributions ensure that we are working together to achieve the desired outcomes that benefit the community as a whole.

Also my gratitude and praise for each and every staff member for their contributions to the year’s outcomes in a professional and competent manner.

Cr Ricky Storer
President Koorda Shire Council
Mobile: 0429 844 088

Email: storerf@koorda.wa.gov.au