Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley Council make a number of resolutions at Council meeting in recognition of the COVID-19 pandemic

Published: Wednesday, 25 March 2020 at 2:57:27 PM

At the Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley’s Ordinary Council Meeting held yesterday, 24 March 2020, Council made a number of important resolutions with regard to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Shire President, Cr David Menzel said Council appreciate these are uncertain times for the community and the resolutions made yesterday are in recognition of the significant challenges that we face.

“At yesterday’s meeting, Council resolved a zero per cent rate increase for the 2020-21 financial year.

“This means the same rate in the dollar will be applied to rate payers for the next financial year as it is currently.

“This will be the third year of a zero rate increase and the cumulative effects of this is that approximately $500,000 of ratepayer funds will remain within the local economy,” he said.

Cr Menzel said the Shire will also take into consideration the current situation during the 2020-21 Budget process.

“In response to the pandemic, the Shire is also gearing the 2020-21 Budget towards supporting local services, the details of which will be communicated as the budget process progresses.”

Fees and Charges for 2020-2021 have also been held at the 2019-20 levels.

In addition, Council adopted the Elected Member Allowances Policy but agreed to reduce allowances to 60% of the maximum figure as determined by the State Administration Tribunal (SAT).

“Council recognise the economic hardships our community and business currently face and as such feel it is appropriate to also reduce elected member allowances,” Cr Menzel said.

Council endorsed the Shire’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response Plan which outlines the prioritisation of essential service delivery in response to the outbreak.  

“The Response Plan enables Council to adapt appropriately and efficiently to the pandemic to best support the community and lead emergency agencies in preparedness, response and recovery.”

The Council report highlighted the measures undertaken within the organisation so far and also noted planned response actions as the situation evolves.

Council also endorsed the Position Statement of The Kimberley Zone and Kimberley Group of Council’s in relation to restricting non-essential travel to and within the Kimberley.

“Last week, the Kimberley Zone made a joint submission to State Government requesting tighter travel restrictions across our region.

“In response to our submission, State Government announced yesterday they will be introducing tighter Kimberley travel restrictions, the details of which are yet to be released.

“We welcome this announcement but would also welcome further measures including restricting non-essential travel between districts within the Kimberley to further protect our communities.”

Council, in order to plan for future activities and stimulus projects, approved the expenditure of Airport Reserve Funds for a runway extension design at the East Kimberley Regional Airport.

“Council recognise the vital role our airport plays now and into the future, including providing essential stimulus to our economy as we recover from COVID-19.

“The design works enable us to tender the construction of the runway extension which will provide critical infrastructure to support supply chains and logistics on a National and International Level.

“It also enables us to be project ready as State and Federal Government release infrastructure funding in the future,” he said.

The Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley continues to take direction and advice from relevant State and Federal Government agencies during the ongoing global development of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“On behalf of Council, I would like to acknowledge and thank Shire staff for the extraordinary efforts they have put in in response to COVID-19.

“We remain concerned about the scale and severity of this pandemic, and the critical role we play in keeping members of our community safe and informed moving forward,” Cr Menzel said.

Overview of Council Resolutions

  • Zero per cent rate increase for the 2020-21 Financial Year
  • 10 per cent reduction in Elected Member Allowances for 2020-21 Financial Year
  • Fees and Charges remain unchanged for the 2020-21 Financial Year
  • Shire’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response Plan endorsed
  • Kimberley Zone Statement Position on Kimberley travel restrictions endorsed
  • East Kimberley Regional Airport runway extension design approved

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The WA Department of Health and Premier and Cabinet has declared the HealthyWA website and State Government Coronavirus page as the single sources of truth as the situation with this pandemic is changing daily. It is important to not follow information from unofficial sources. All information should be consumed from the list of reliable sources below:

HealthyWA page https://healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/A_E/Coronavirus
State Government Coronavirus Page https://www.wa.gov.au/government/coronavirus-covid-19
Coronavirus hotline 1800 020 080.
Travel information www.smarttraveller.gov.au
Western Australian Government Pandemic Plan https://www.wa.gov.au/sit…/default/files/2020-03/WAGPP_2.pdf

Coronavirus hotline: 1800 020 080

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