Message from The President

Description of imageI am pleased to be bringing you my 8th annual report for the year ended 30th June 2019.

The Shire has a very new look in several different ways.  

Firstly, I would like to welcome Mr. Darren Simmons to Koorda as our new CEO. Darren comes to us with many years' experience in Local Government and has worked hard to get to know as many of the community members as possible and attended several different functions.   

I would like to express my gratitude to David Burton, who after 7 years as CEO in Koorda, is now the CEO in Carnarvon. David and Ronnie contributed to the community, not only as CEO, but in various other capacities. During the recruitment and transition period we had the benefit of having Mr. Gary Martin as Acting CEO for 3 months, providing strong leadership and guidance to both staff and councilors.  

Adding to the new look, and after several years of discussion and debate, an updated Shire Logo has been adopted, with a new slogan of “Drive In, stay awhile” replacing the outdated “Corn Dolly Country”. 

New shire entry signs will be erected at our boundaries in the near future.  

Travellers arriving in Koorda from the East on Koorda Bullfinch Road, will notice the new electronic speed sign near the police station. The sign will be a reminder to drivers to observe the 50 kph speed limit around town and hopefully encourage heavy vehicle operators to slow down as they approach BP at the end of the street. 

Councils financial support of the Drive-In is providing dividends to the Koorda P&C. The new projector and speakers are not only providing a much-improved picture and sound quality, but also keeping a retro feel to the experience. There have been nearly 1000 patrons in the past 4 screenings, most of who are from out of town, injecting new money into both the reserve fund for ongoing maintenance, but more importantly to the P&C for them to use for the benefit of our primary school children. I would encourage you to speak to P&C members to find out how these funds have been used. 

There have been several car, caravan and 4WD clubs visit Koorda, primarily to take advantage of the Drive-In, but also Koorda is a comfortable distance for them to travel for a weekend getaway. Stats have shown that our caravan park is one of the few in the NEW Travel catchment that has had an increase in patronage. 

The Central East Aged Care Alliance (CEACA) units across the 11 participating Local Governments are nearing completion. The four new units in Koorda are expected to be ready for occupancy in the next few weeks. The units are designed for local elderly residents to stay in our community close to their family and friends. Demand is high for these units and unfortunately, some applicants may not be successful.  A virtual tour of both the “Platinum” and “Gold units” is available online for anybody to view. Please contact the Shire office if you have trouble accessing the web site.  

The new Gym and Changerooms were opened in August. There has been much interest in the “Koorda Kinetic Centre” gym membership with 35 already having signed up.

The changerooms have been given favorable reviews from both local and visitor teams. The facilities in both changerooms are of a very high standard and comparable with any city equivalent. 

Acknowledgement must be given to the Shire’s Manager of Finance and Administration, Miss Lana Foote, for her role as Project Manager, ensuring the project, while a little behind schedule, was delivered to Council’s expectations. 

The Wheatbelt Secondary Freight Network (WSFN), is now nearly at construction stage. The ambitious project of 4,400 kms of identified freight routes across 42 Local Governments to be upgraded, has been 3 years in the planning and development stage. The Deputy Prime Minister announced a $70 million funding allocation and combined with a further $17 million from the State and Local Governments, will see an estimated 500 kms of roads reconstructed to a fit for purpose asset. Koorda will not see any construction work in the first funding round, but many residents will have indirect benefits by driving on these upgraded roads. The $500 million project is expected to take between 15 and 20 years to complete and will rely on future Federal Government support and funding. The desired outcome is a safer and more productive road network. 

The Local Government Act review is currently underway, one of outcomes is for mandatory Elected Member training for all successful candidates following the upcoming Local Government elections.

This may be seen by some as being too onerous but will in fact provide Elected Members with a good understanding of their roles and responsibilities. 

Council provided the funding for staff to invest in a new Electronic Management System to host the Shire’s records. The meticulous logging of nearly 80 years of printed documents, photos and other records, is currently underway. 

In closing, I would like to thank the Staff and Councilors for their efforts during the past year and look forward to the challenges in 2020. 

Cr Ricky Storer
President Koorda Shire Council