President’s Monthly Musing

Published on Wednesday, 18 May 2022 at 10:58:39 AM

I just love the turn of the season, when the mornings and evening become that little bit cooler, the rain fronts start to roll through in between beautiful days of sunshine, and the countryside turns green. For many in our shire it is the busiest and one of the most stressful times with seeding/planting of crops. Timing is everything in ensuring good germination and roots can capture any moisture in the soil profile. It is the timely positioning at this front end that ensures a better outcome later in the growing season.

This time of year, is a glorious time to take a moment to wonder through the Valley, go beyond and you will discover many wonderful gems our shire has to offer. Picturesque Mills lookout, the Chapman River at Fig Tree and Nanson townsite, the Nanson Heritage Precinct and museum, one of our local eateries for a bite to eat, a local footy game or round of golf, Coronation Beach, natural landscapes, and wonderful parklands and playgrounds. Examples of why the shire motto is Love the Rural life! There is so much to love and something I have heard this past month from locals and people from a far.

Council has been actively considering several draft plans including the Community Strategic Plan, Local Recovery Operations Plan, and the Community Health Plan. Thank you to people who have taken the time to contribute through surveys either online or face to face to these plans. These plans are likely to be complete in the coming month or two, which is exceptional timing considering council and shire staff are about to formulate 2022-2023 draft budget. The draft budget is a cumulation of ongoing subcommittee meetings, reviews, inspections, and formal requests over the previous months. Planning and future thinking is continual and ongoing. It is this time of year the nitty gritty to next year budget commences.

Many businesses and organisations resources are tight as operation costs and overheads escalate. Budgets are stretched as they absorb sky rocketing costs due to inflation and labour force is hot and in demand. The hire of Chapman Valley is not immune to these conditions. As we pivot in these uncertain times, full consideration of what is possible and achievable is evolving regularly. But let us be mindful that sometimes it is just not possible to have the cake and eat it too. BTW, I love cake, so it is not particularly easy sometimes.

The Council welcomes feedback from our community at any time. This feedback contributes and informs us as elected members whilst being mindful there are processes which underpin our decision making. Good governance is at the heart of good decision making. It is for this reason that requests can take time to consider and should not be assumed. It is why staff and council continue to review policies and procedures annually and as required. We strive to adopt modern best practices and meet community expectations where possible under the Local Government Act, in which we operate. And as small local government authority, the Shire of Chapman Valley is agile, an advantage I believe allows us to work beyond counterparts.

From my desk this month there has been continued advocacy work with Western Power, Department of Fire and Emergency Services, WALGA, Northern Country Zone, Department of Main Roads, Minister for Transport, Minister for Energy, Minister for Emergency Services, B.A.N.K of Ideas, local Drought Resilience Committee, and meeting and consulting with local community, in the quest for a better rural life for us here in the Valley. There certainly is an air of opportunity and potentially some exciting projects on the horizon.

This week we celebrate Volunteer Week! And thank you to all our wonderful volunteers in our shire. The community is richer for your contributions, and we certainly could not do what we do without you. Should you wish to volunteer there certainly is local community groups looking for your assistance. Please contact our CDO or an elected member who can connect you with one of these groups.

Best wishes for the month May. We certainly are truly fortunate to enjoy the rural life.

Kirrilee Warr


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