President’s Monthly Musing

Published on Thursday, 10 March 2022 at 6:48:32 AM


2022 is flying along! It is hard to believe Summer has come and gone and Autumn is here. Although you wouldn’t think so with the soaring temps we are still experiencing.
Welcome Jamie Criddle as CEO, and to his wife Elisha and children to the shire. We hope you are settling into the Valley.

It may have seemed a little quiet of late but be assured there has been plenty of work going on over the past 6 weeks, and there has been lots of opportunities to catch up with staff, councillors, and community this past month. Including the Australia Day awards which drew an amazing group of nominees. The breakfast was wonderfully catered for by Country Cooks at Coronation Beach and enjoyed by a large crowd of shire residents. Congratulations to the nominees and special mention to our winners: Megan O’Grady, Community Citizen of The Year, CWA Yuna Branch, Community Group of the Year, and Samantha Williamson, Young Community Member of the Year.

Community workshops were held across the Shire in February to collate ideas for council’s strategic community plan. COVID reared its head and prevented our consultant from attending in person. We pivoted to video conferencing with residents meeting face to face, and although technology challenged us at times, the ideas flowed, with many threads and themes emerging for council to consider. Thank you to everyone who contributed and provided feedback. Council is currently working through the priorities.

The electors meeting was held at Bill Hemsley Park. Some pertinent questions were raised including council meeting venues, power outages, complaint registers, and shire expenditure in certain areas. It was lovely to be out and about in the community, meeting new and old faces while hosting these meetings and workshops.

Council continues a key advocacy role with power outages. I wish to let you know that council reps have met with Western Power, Minister’s Johnson Office, neighbouring LGAs, state and federal politicians and the Northern Country Zone of Local Government to work on solutions with stakeholders. The outages are most frustrating and a significant inconvenience. Off the back of complaints, and several meetings, work has been completed on the network north of Geraldton, including a new reclosure installed closer to Northampton, which has resulted in fewer outages in the Shire of Chapman Valle since 13th January, in comparison to other parts of the network. More discussions are proposed in the coming month, and they will be ongoing for some time as there is no silver bullet. I recognise more needs to be done, and I am working diligently at every level to ensure better outcomes can be flow for the community.

Natural Disaster is impacting so many communities across Australia right now. The enormity of these events is home truthing a lot about emergency response and recovery. What we know through our own lived experience is that local community band together in a time of need, are stronger together, and volunteers are this country’s savior. The Shire of Chapman Valley send our thoughts and well wishes to those communities in effected areas. And I encourage you if you can, to give back in some way if possible. Every bit counts.

These events draw cyclone Seroja to front of mind, and as we near twelve months on, there is plenty to do in building back better. Chapman Valley and Northampton shires recently held a workshop with invited community to discuss recovery. The day was a full program, hard hitting, and identified there is some way to go in recovery. I encourage anyone who is requiring assistance with cyclone recovery to visit the Hub in Northampton, which also outreaches to Nabawa and Yuna fortnightly on alternative Thursdays at the Nabawa and Yuna community centers, or contact Samantha Edwards, Local Community Recovery Officer on 0459956174 to discuss your needs.

COVID19 and community spread is here in the Midwest. As such the shire asks you to follow the check in, mask wearing, and hand sanitizing before entering shire/public buildings. Consider your plans: have a supply of RAT tests (currently the state government is offering 5 free tests per household- to register), enough food and medical supplies for at least a week, and consider your support people/network who can help you if you become unwell. These times can be challenging, exhausting, frightening, and isolating for some members of the community. Please check in on your friends, family, neighbors, and mates. And most of all be kind and respect each other.

16th March 2022- Ordinary Council Meeting, Nabawa Council Chambers, 9am
24th March 2022- Yuna Community Connect, YCC, 9:30am
2nd April 2022- Rainmakers Ball, Nabawa Community Centre
9th April 2022- School Holidays commence – Take care on the roads!

Kirrilee Warr
Shire President

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