Message from The President

I am pleased to present my President’s Report for the year ended 30 June 2018.

In my opinion this has been a very progressive year for the Shire of Koorda.  As President for the past 7 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

2017 Council Elections were held on Saturday 21st October. Many thanks to the outgoing Councillors; Shane Boyd, who served for 14 years, and Tony Clarke, who served for 6 years.

Congratulations and welcome to George Storer, returning after a break from Council, and Jannah Stratford.

Elections also saw a change in Deputy President. Thank you to Gary Greaves who filled the role for 4 years and welcome to Pam McWha who was elected as Deputy President in October 2017.

The next elections are scheduled for October 2019.

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 district.

Reforms to the Local Government Act 1995 and the start of the Act Review will improve Local Government operations.

Law, Order and Public Safety

Local Emergency Management Risk Assessments are being formulated and documented by local governments; this will be completed prior to June 30, 2019.  As some of our members have left the district we will be recruiting for new volunteers to ensure the service is adequately manned.

Health and Welfare Services

The provision of health services continues to be a high priority for Council.  Dr Emmanuel Awogun has continued practicing at the Wyalkatchem and Koorda Surgeries and has proved to be popular with the residents. 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. In July 2016 CEACA were successful in their grant application through the State Government’s Royalties for Regions program which secured $19 million worth of funding for the building of 75 fully serviced and universally designed houses dedicated to the ageing population across 11 Local Governments in the Central and Eastern Wheatbelt. The site works commenced in July 2018 and the building of the units should be completed within the 2018/2019 financial year. Koorda has been allocated 5 aged units/houses which will be located in the north side of town in Greenham Street.

Federal Assistance Grants

The Federal government has reinstated the indexing on the Federal Assistant Grant Scheme (FAGs), which will assist in the financial management of the shire. FAG’s received in 2017/2018 were $1,803,519 with a prepayment of $962,993 being allocated to 2018/2019. Total revenue for 2017/2018 was $4,589,813 and the FAG’s contributes to nearly 39% of the total.

Digital Television Retransmission

The digital retransmission equipment is now functioning adequately. The ABC and SBS decoders were upgraded in 2017 to ensure the equipment was up to date and compatible. Council will look into purchasing a remote control unit so technicians can do off site maintenance in an aim to resolve issues in a more timely and cost effective manner. This service has also been appreciated by travellers using our facilities.

Finances

Council finalised the year with a $6,849,684 credit balance as at 30 June 2018.  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.  To ensure 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.

Unfortunately Council was unsuccessful with both their applications to the Federal Building Better Regions Fund. As these applications were to fund the entire complex upgrade, Council have resolved to only continue with the demolition of the old visitors change rooms to upgrade them with two new change rooms for the home teams and a gymnasium. Council was successful in getting CSRFF approval for the Change rooms and Gymnasium and are progressing with this project.

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 have 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.

The Roads to Recovery Program is Federal Government funding allocated to local governments to assist with all aspects of road works. It has provided much needed funding for Council to endeavour to maintain the roads at a level that ensures both safety and adequate road conditions are maintained, and as resources will allow.

Work has continued on the Wheatbelt Secondary Freight Route. The working group have had several meetings with Main Roads WA, State and Federal politicians in an attempt to attract around $130 million to reconstruct in excess of 1,000kms of identified roads that will be designated as heavy vehicle routes. The Shire of Koorda are very supportive of this project and have been prepared to allocate $6,000 to go towards completing all pre-construction work.

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

Welcome to Charli West who has taken on the role of Executive Assistant as Kristyn Harrap commenced maternity leave to welcome her second baby.

I would like to thank and congratulate my Deputy and fellow Councillors for their support and input that has enabled Council to deliver services and meet the requirements of our community.

We continue to review our forward plans, which are in reality part of our strategic objectives and take a pro-active part in the Local Government Act Review.

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 with any concerns or issues that you consider needs addressing. 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