Message from The President

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I am pleased to present this year’s Annual Report for the year ended 30th June 2020.

The Ordinary Elections of Council were held in October 2019. Many thanks to retiring Councillor Gary Greaves. Cr Greaves served on council for 8 years, 4 of those as deputy President. Thank you for your time and commitment Gary.

Congratulations on the re-election Cr P McWha, Cr B Cooper and Cr L Smith. We also welcomed Cr G Boyne to Council.

Our active participation in the North Eastern Wheatbelt Region of Councils (NEWROC) was solidified as our two-year rotation of NEWROC Chair and CEO also began in October. Within this reporting period, I am also pleased to report the Shire of Dowerin have also joined the organisation.

December saw the completion of the Central East Aged Care Alliance (CEACA) units with advertising for tenants and the subsequent filling of the four units. Council also resolved in the December Council Meeting to support CEACA’s the progression of the VERSO report, to review community care packages, transport, and residential aged care.

Early in March Cr Ricky Storer resigned from Council. I would like to acknowledge and thank Cr Storer (Councillor for 15 years, and President for the past 9 years) for his dedication to our community, and his commitment, knowledge, and leadership within council. Rick’s energy and strategic focus ensured the Shire of Koorda is in a strong position both financially and via reputation and is held in high esteem amongst its peers.

Upon Cr Storer’s resignation, council resolved to hold an extraordinary election, engaging the services of the Western Australian Electoral Commission. This was to be held via postal vote to ensure community safety during the pandemic. As there were no nominations, and noting the approval of the Electoral Commissioner, the councillor vacancy remains unfilled until the next ordinary election to be held in October 2021.

On the 16th March 2020, a State of Emergency was declared in respect to the pandemic caused by COVID 19 - Corona Virus. While Western Australia – especially Regional WA, was relatively sheltered from the virus, the staged restrictions left financial and social impacts across our communities. Part of our ingrained social fabric includes community gatherings and participating in local sports and with such activities put-on hold indefinitely, our resilience and community spirit was evident in the way supported our local businesses and community members through unknown and challenging times.

As a council we had to adapt to restrictions with our April council meeting held by teleconference. External meetings were also held via Zoom. I thank our Councillors and staff for their patience as we worked through new technologies.

As information and restrictions were ever evolving during the early stages of the pandemic, ANZAC Day celebrations across the country were cancelled due to the two-person limit at events. Through liaising with our local Police OIC and in partnership with CWA – Koorda Branch, service readings we pre-recorded and live streamed, along with laying of wreaths and raising of the flag, as a fitting tribute to our past and present servicemen and women. A virtual tour of the Koorda Motor and Military Museum was also a feature of the formalities.  I thank DCEO Lana Foote for her time and expertise in enabling the community to uphold tradition - albeit in a new format.

Earlier in the year the Shire of Koorda took possession of a new 3.4 Urban Tanker – funding for the upgrade for this vehicle was made possible through the Department of Fire and Emergency Services LGGS capital Grant Scheme.

The draft Disability and Inclusion Plan has been advertised for public consultation and is set to be presented to council for adoption in the July Council Meeting. The Shire Administration building has upgraded the entry door to increase accessibility.

Our annual budget process has been completed with adoption of our 2020/21 budget at the June Council meeting. With an allocation of almost $440,000 stimulus through the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program through the Federal Government, there are some exciting community programs and infrastructure projects planned for 2020/21.

In closing I would like to congratulate and thank staff and councillors for their ongoing commitment over the past 12 months and look forward working with the community in the new year.

Cr Jannah Stratford
Shire President