As is usually the case at this time of the year, we all reflect on how quickly the year has passed, it’s incredible to think that we will be celebrating Christmas in a couple of weeks, and just a week after that 2018 will have arrived!
As we look back over the events of 2017, it has been a bit of a mixed bag with the Shire receiving significant rains through February, again leaving many Shire roads with damage. These rains did however create good sub soil moisture for our farmers, which was definitely needed throughout the dry June that we experienced. The season all up though has been much kinder on our farmers than last year, with minimal frost damage and much better yields. Our community continues to be resilient when faced with the varying challenges the seasons can bring and you are to be commended on this.
There have been a number of notable achievements by Council throughout 2017 including: the completion of the town hall kitchen; the installation of solar panels at the Recreation Centre, Shire Administration Office and Pool; the successful application under the Stronger Communities Program to install an electronic honour board system at the Recreation Centre in 2018; road improvements including:- Narembeen-Corrigin Road & Kondinin-Narembeen Road (Roads to Recovery, Bruce Rock-Narembeen Road (Regional Road Group Funding), Wogarl Muntadgin Road (Blackspot Funding).
2017 saw the review of the Community Strategic Plan, with significant community consultation taking place, Council feels that the revised plan reflects on where we are as a community and adequately defines goals and strategies that are certainly achievable in the short and long term. The new plan is available online at www.narembeen.wa.gov.au. We appreciate those that took the time to provide their input into how we can make Narembeen a better place to live.
We continue to keep the community updated via social media including Facebook and Twitter, a cost efficient, more personal marketing medium. The Shire website is updated regularly and we hope that you are continuing to enjoy “The Chief” in the Narembeen Fencepost which aims to continue to keep you updated.
Along with the successful delivery of services to the community, much time has been dedicated this year to meeting the challenges of WANDRRA in which the Shire was granted funding following the second significant rain event in as many years. Council engaged the services of Core Business to oversee the reinstatement of works, which has been contracted to Leeuwin Civil. It is estimated
these works will be completed by June 2018 to a value in excess of $5,000,000. The works are currently being undertaken in the south of the Shire, the works to be completed are significant, so we appreciate your patience during this time.
During January 2017 we received notification of successful funding for the Emergency Services Facility through the Wheatbelt Regional Grants Scheme, this is an exciting project for Narembeen which is expected to be completed in early 2018, a long time in the making it will be very beneficial to have a centralised base for the operation of emergency services in Narembeen.
With the success of the funding for the CRC/Medical Centre extension through the National Stronger Regions Fund, this has been a project that Shire staff have been working on throughout the year and we look forward to finalising a contract with a builder in early 2018 to get this project underway.
October saw the Local Government Elections and with four positions vacant, we received four nominations, all elected unopposed. We welcome new Councillors Peter Lines, Scott Stirrat and Alan Wright and Cr Rhonda Cole for another term. 2018 saw the retirement of three Councillors—Cr Regina DeLuis served for 12 consecutive years, Cr Sydney Parsons served for 8 consecutive years and Cr Stephen Padfield served for an outstanding 31 years. They are to be commended on their dedicated service to the Narembeen community.
Congratulations to the many men and women who generously volunteer their time and skills to make Narembeen Shire a great place to live, work and play! We look forward to working close with our local community groups who are making a difference in our community. Please remember our Australia Day Breakfast & Awards Ceremony which is held on Australia Day—26th January, this is an event where we get to honour and pay tribute to those who have dedicated their time for the betterment of our community.
As we reflect upon the achievements of this year and look forward to the challenges and opportunities that next year holds, I would like to thank the Shire of Narembeen team (Councillors and Staff) for their hard work and commitment.
I would like to wish each of you a safe and Merry Christmas and a healthy successful year ahead.
Chief Executive Officer