We head into 2021 following a year of unprecedented challenges.
In the face of adversity, the grit of Murray residents, community groups and local businesses saw us rally against the hardships, to work together, innovate, iterate and adapt to the changing situations and unique circumstances.
Because of our collective efforts as a district and in the wider Western Australian context, and guided by sound strategies and plans, our Shire was able to continue on its path to economic diversification.
Through projects such as the Western Australian Food Innovation Precinct (WAFIP), Peel Business Park and the transformation of Dwellingup into a recognised Trails Town, the Shire of Murray’s profile as a key contributor to the Western Australian economy is ever-increasing, ensuring job provision as well as business and industry growth.
In 2021, I especially look forward to the commencement of construction on the Western Australian Food Innovation Precinct within Peel Business Park in Nambeelup.
The state-of-the-art facility will bring together business, industry, training, research and development and transform WA food manufacturing by fostering industry innovation to drive growth and export.
A range of exciting projects collectively strengthening Pinjarra as a destination, will be advanced this year.
Following final concrete, stage installation, lighting and balustrading works, we will officially open the Murray River Square and Foreshore early in the new year. Works have progressively transformed the amenity into a high quality, vibrant, public space – a focal point for the town.
Pinjarra’s iconic suspension bridge will receive a facelift in the first half of the year, structural concerns will be addressed, access improved and the life of the bridge extended for 50 years.
Opportunities will be further explored to redevelop the Exchange Hotel site into a food and beverage venue comprising a microbrewery/tavern, producer and makers co-operative space and pop-up alfresco. The Exchange will accommodate our local producers and provide a main street retail presence for the Western Australian Food Innovation Precinct.
We will also continue to plan for the future of the Pinjarra Railway and Edenvale Heritage Precincts, through preparation of the Edenvale Heritage Precinct Place and Activation Plan and Pinjarra Railway Heritage Master Plan.
Main Roads are progressing stage 1 of the Pinjarra Heavy Haulage Deviation and we are advocating for funding for stage 2 and the western deviation, to complete a key piece of Western Australian freight infrastructure, improve access to the Pinjarra Industrial Area and surrounding commercial precinct and enable the complete revitalisation of the town centre.
We will continue to collaborate with the Shire’s of Waroona, Harvey and Collie, in order to secure new sustainable water sources to supply the sub-region’s industries including mining and agriculture, reducing reliance on traditional ground water reserves and surface storage (dams) which are at capacity.
Maintaining momentum towards securing trails town status and in partnership with the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, we will work to acquire funding for additional mountain bike trail construction in Dwellingup.
A further 26kms of mountain bike trails is needed to meet the minimum 80km national benchmark, required for recognition as a Trails Town.
In 2021, Murray’s Coastal Hazard Risk Management and Adaptation Plan will also be delivered.
Citizen science and input from a community reference group are assisting with the development of the plan, which is needed to mitigate the impacts and risks of coastal hazards including erosion and inundation on the Peel Harvey Estuary and tidally influenced portions of the Murray and Serpentine Rivers.
Early in the new year, a synthetic cricket wicket and a three-bay cricket practice net will be installed on the shared use oval at Sir Ross McLarty Sports Precinct. The Sir Ross McLarty Sports Precinct Master Plan adopted by Council in 2008, will also be reviewed.
The updated plan will help guide the development of infrastructure at the Precinct for the next 10 years, in order to create a vibrant, accessible and contemporary community, sporting and recreation hub to service our residents and visitors.
In South Yunderup, construction will commence on a pavilion at the South Yunderup oval, which will comprise gender neutral changerooms, universally accessible public toilets, storage, kiosk and large multi-use under cover area.
The pavilion will be co-located with the Yunderup Sport and Recreation Club and is part of a vision to create a vibrant inter-generational recreation and sporting hub.
Lots resulting from the subdivision at Lot 102 Lakes Road, North Dandalup will progressively be sold throughout the year, with the funds being put toward facilitating further improvements to North Dandalup community infrastructure.
Following consideration of community input and consultation with relevant government agencies, a draft Ravenswood Foreshore Master Plan will be prepared and presented to Council for consideration.
The master plan will identify priorities for development of the Ravenswood Foreshore and Peninsular area, including formulation of preliminary costings to allow for budgeting and grant applications.
As we tick into the new year, I am excited for the opportunities of 2021 and I look forward to sharing it with you, our community. Wishing you a fabulous, happy and healthy New Year.