Message from The President

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It gives me great pleasure to comment on the 2022/23 Annual Report. I hope that Councillors, Staff and Community take a moment to reflect on the substantial milestones achieved by the Shire over the past 12 months.

This year we began a major review of our governance structures including the Delegation Register (and reporting), Council Policies, Council and Staff Code of Conduct, as well as the completion of the Financial Management, Risk Management, Legislative Compliance, and Internal Controls Review.

While the review of these policies and procedures has included a substantial workload internally, with progress made so far, and at completion, our organization will be in a strong position for leadership and decision making into the future. I would like to thank Lana Foote for her ongoing commitment to this review.

The council also welcomed the Governance Review papers from the Wheatbelt Secondary Freight Network. With our previous Shire President Ricky Storer being instrumental in the Network’s conception, robust governance and planning will ensure the group are in a strong position to advocate, prioritize and manage future upgrades to wheatbelt road projects.

Our Works Team have once again completed a comprehensive works program across the shire, with Council receiving many compliments on our roads and the neat presentation of the town. Thank you to Darren West and his team for the high standards they set in completing projects.

NEWROC continues to advocate for regional collaboration and service delivery. Council has supported an application for NEWROC to form a Regional Subsidiary.

Economic investments within our shire have been particularly strong with 2022/23 seeing Telstra investing in a 5G Telstra Tower upgrade, CBH Emergency Grain Storage completed and Workers Accommodation planned, a Eucalypt Woodlands Project planned and a Crisp Wireless tower built at Newcarlbeon.

Health Services are an ongoing concern for Council with continuous communication and partnership with the Shire of Wyalkatchem on our Doctor service, and with WA Country Health on our Nursing Post service.

Waste Management is still a priority for council, with the Strategic Waste Management Plan and the Waste Facility Landfill Closure Management Plan adopted at the November 2022 Council meeting.

Round Three of the Local Roads and Infrastructure funding project: Recreation Ground Upgrade and Extension, tender was awarded in December 2022. There has been a significant delay with the project due to labour shortages. Funding for this project has been carried forward to the 2023/24 budget and we look forward to the commencement of this community project.

While the Council has seen unprecedented funding opportunities arising over the past two years, significant consideration is given to the capacity of the Council and Community to service and maintain liabilities into the future.

While outside the 12-month reporting period, in August this year we bid farewell to our CEO Darren Simmons. I would like to acknowledge his contribution to the Shire and community during his four-year tenure.

In closing I would like to congratulate and thank Council and Staff for their commitment over the past 12 months. Thanks also must go to the community for supporting us through the many opportunities and challenges that arise throughout the year. Your feedback allows us to make informed decisions on behalf of the community.

Jannah Stratford
Shire President