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Community Broadcast – by the Shire President

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The following information aims to provide the community with an update on Council matters and progress occurring across the organisation.

We wish Ali Mills, departing CEO all the very best in her adventures and welcome Ken Markham as Acting CEO until 3rd August 2018. We also will have Stephen Tindale back as Acting CEO commencing on the 6th August 2018, until a new CEO is recruited. Skills sought in a new CEO will be those in economic development, Governance and public relations. This process could take up to 6 months with Council giving the recruitment process to LOGO appointments.

Operational improvements
With the assistance of a HR organisation, Camerelli Associates an analysis of workloads resulted in a re structure of areas of responsibility. This was also in line with Community concerns for economic development across the Shire. The following has been achieved:
• Manager of Infrastructure Services (MIS) and Manager Corporate Development Services (MCDS) sharing management of operations across the organisation,
• Team leader levels established across the organisation
• Independent HR support provided on demand to staff
• Change of administration office seating plan to support better team approach
As a result, operations have improved efficiency whilst team work across all areas has improved across all areas. This has also resulted in improved Staff morale, reduced turnover, reduced absences and reduced incidents. The recently appointed MCDS, Joelene Dennis has brought excellent financial management skills and experience and has teamed up with the Senior Finance Officer Ally Bryant. Together they will ensure financial practices meet standards.
MAJOR PROJECT UPDATES
Oval – Whilst the best planning took place the weather and other conditions affected the growth of the new oval grass. Weed management is now an issue to ensure it does not compromise the new grass coming through. Unfortunately, it will not be ready for this years’ show, however the MIS is working cooperatively with the show team to work around the oval.
Pavilion – this project is on track and will be completed for the show day. This will provide a great outdoor space, BBQ area, new kitchen with improved equipment and spaces.

Power matters
Recent works have been undertaken at the BESS which should have resolved the technical issues. The Previous CEO and President have been pursuing further options with Western Power and the Department of Regional Development with renewables. This will continue to be pursued as new technologies are becoming more accessible to communities.

Mining Updates – with Mount Gibson finishing next year, other mining companies are being approached to support the community benefit fund to assist with keeping this going for community groups.
Egan Street Resources – Are continuing to build their capital and aim to be operational in the latter half of 2018. Discussions are continuing with Directors to gain benefits for Perenjori Community.
Mount Gibson – we will see trucking finish at the end of this year with trains expected to stop in February 2019. Mount Gibson have been a very good company for our community and have been very good to work with. Their contributions to our infrastructure and community benefit funds have been key to major projects and community groups and events being able to take place.
Tungsten Mining – progress is continuing out near Rothsay with communications taking place to identify any opportunities for the community.

CBH redevelopment
There are planned improvements to the Latham and Perenjori sites, which should benefit farmers come harvest time. Council has been meeting with CBH to look at longer term plans for the Perenjori North site to become the main bin taking away safety concerns of the town bin being so close to the early childhood centre and school.

Education commitment
The President is committed to working with the North Midlands Education and Industry Training Alliance to improve education options and outcomes for students and families. Well done to Sam King and parents for their recent efforts in exploring local options and working with schools which seems to have been very positive. As a high priority in the Corporate Business Plan, Council will continue to commit resources to improving education.

Waste Management – transfer station
As a part of Councils Waste Management Plan, the first stage will be setting up a transfer station in Latham. This will result in the site being managed and open for limited days and times per week. This will also be positive for landfill sites as waste will be separated and less will be going into the landfill. Updates for Latham residents will occur to ensure all are aware of the changes.

Business development – Relationships with the MWCCI have been developed well by the previous CEO and need to continue. Interest has been registered to establish a chemist in Perenjori with options for the location being explored.

Council will support the Perenjori Progress Association on various models to assist a potential new owner of the Shop, as well as continuing communicating with the agent.

Tourism Development
Implementation of the Tourism Action Plan is progressing well with the Tourism Advisory group led by Cr Spencer with the following achievements:
• Wildflower way extensions throughout north midlands
• Self-drive trails
• WIFI at Caravan Park
• Website for visitor centre and WIFI
• Astro- Tourism being pursued

Department Local Government – Authorised inquiry
The investigation has focussed on:
• Tendering
• Purchasing practices
• Declarations of interest
• General Governance
The report is due in the next couple of months and is welcomed by Council and Management to make any improvements required.

Moving forward
It is pleasing the season for agriculture has been very positive and strong. The recent community meeting provided opportunity for concerns to be aired, and for those not aware to become updated. The President and Deputy President have concerns with minority behaviours which don’t reflect the good standing Council has had with the department and community. The behaviours of Councillors must be respectful and abide by a standard code of conduct. Feedback from WALGA and the Department has made the Shire’s position very clear in dealing with employee matters, that does not allow the interference of Councillors. Due process is followed with guidance and advice from WALGA, the Department and Local Government Insurance Service.

The majority of Community are very positive, with Council looking to encapsulate the passion and care of many to benefit our community. Any queries on any matters can be made directly to the President or any Councillor. We appreciate constructive feedback and look forward to respectful conversations with all.

LAURIE BUTLER
PRESIDENT