City seizes property over unpaid rates

The City of Greater Geraldton has taken possession of a property due to an excess of $300,000 outstanding on rates and rubbish charges, including penalties and legal fees, dating back several years.

In order to recover these costs, the City took possession of a property located at 1004 Chapman Road in Glenfield on 8 August 2017 under section 6.64 of the Local Government Act.

City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn stated that this action was taken as a last resort.

“This drastic action has been taken by the City because we have exhausted the legal process for recovery of the unpaid rates and charges,” he said

“We have also exhausted attempts to find negotiated solutions that would have avoided the need to exercise our powers in this way.

“The recovery action has taken a great deal of time and cost, and this was the result of the ratepayer refusing to admit at all times that he and the other titleholder on the property were obliged to pay the outstanding rates and charges, despite having no legal grounds for doing so.”

The property owner has been declared by the Supreme Court of WA to be a “vexatious litigant” and all courts the ratepayer has appealed to during the recovery process found no legal basis at all for his arguments against meeting his obligation to pay the rates and charges. 

The City understands that the courts consider the ratepayer’s arguments to be based on a misunderstanding of the Commonwealth and State Constitutions and entirely lacking in legal merit. 

The City is committed to exercise the powers it possesses under the law in order to provide good government to the people of Greater Geraldton. 

This includes ensuring that no ratepayer unfairly avoids their legal obligation to pay rates and charges, to the detriment of the wider community.

Mayor Van Styn also added that there were options for ratepayers who were encountering financial hardship.

“We understand that some ratepayers may be faced with financial difficulties and the City offers such ratepayers a number of payment arrangements,” he said.

“There are a number of instalment options available and if someone is struggling they just need to give the City a call and discuss it with us.

“We are here to assist and we want people to know that there are a number of ways in which we can do so.”

For those looking for more information about rates arrangements call the City on 9956 6600.

2019 KM Photography Xmas Special

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Order any print from their web site, facebook, karlmonaghanphotography, or Instagram, kmphotography62, at 60cm, and they will print on Ilford Smooth Pearl for $100. That's an amazing price for a perfect gift this Christmas. Just pop in a tube and label.

Offer runs till 24th December. Get in quick while the paper stock lasts, or why not pop into their lab and have your own photograph printed and framed for that special xmas gift.

Shop located at 76 Chapman Road, just opposite the old railway.

Desert Blue Connect leads the way in family violence prevention

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Desert Blue Connect, working alongside the CRE Reference group, have been instrumental in developing and introducing the Community, Respect, & Equality (CRE) Agreement for organisations and businesses in Geraldton to collectively say that #ViolenceIsNEVEROk in our community.  The CRE Agreement requires organisations and businesses to endorse the CRE Agreed Values and Codes of Behaviour and commit to actions in the workplace to prevent family violence.  It is now available for organisations and businesses to read, endorse and take action.

“We are encouraging managers and employees of organisations to read the new CRE Agreement online and see what is involved”, said Daphne White, Executive Manager Operations at Desert Blue Connect.

“There are some really easy and practical actions that workplaces can do straightaway such as use of the promotional logos and hashtags that say no to violence.  Desert Blue Connect regularly put on activities that promote a safe community, both in our workplace and in the community, so any workplace can also do it,” she said.

Desert Blue Connect is a non-profit organisation that provide specialist family violence services.  Each year the organisation holds a peaceful community march to raise awareness of family violence and sexual assault and promote respectful relationships.  This year’s March Against Violence (MAV) is coming up and will be held on White Ribbon Day, Friday 23rd November 2018 at the Geraldton Multipurpose Centre, Stow Gardens.  It commences at 9am with guest speakers prior to the march commencing.  Everyone from the community is invited to come and join the event. 

  March Against Violence organisers, Sarah and Meg preparing resources for the event

March Against Violence organisers, Sarah and Meg preparing resources for the event

Mid West-Gascoyne District Superintendent Mike Bell is a strong supporter of the MAV event and a CRE Champion. He is encouraging everyone to attend and raise awareness of the impacts family violence has on the community.

“Aside from the adverse impact family violence has on the victim and their family and friends, it also causes a significant economic and social detriment to the wider community”, said District Superintendent Mike Bell. 

“Preventing family violence in our community should be a priority for everyone and this can commence with the strengthening of positive, equal and respectful relations between all community members.”

 

For further information on the MAV please contact Desert Blue Connect, 25 Chapman Road, Geraldton, phone 08 9964 2742 or visit www.desertblueconnect.org.au

For more information on the CRE Agreement, please visit the Community, Respect, and Equality website at https://www.communityrespectandequality.com.au

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If you feel unsafe or would like confidential advice please call:

  • WA Police for assistance 131 444 (000 if urgent)

  • Desert Blue Connect Geraldton - 9964 2742

  • 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732

  • Sexual Assault Crisis Line - 1800 016 789

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Minister gives extended trading official go-ahead

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Extended trading hours in Geraldton has received official sign off today by WA Minister for Commerce Hon Bill Johnston MLA.

In a letter from the Minister, the application to adopt extended trading hours has now been officially approved after Council unanimously resolved to continue the trialled hours.

City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn said it was a very positive outcome for the community.

“Council agreed that this was what our community wanted,” he said.

“We trialled the hours for 12-months and measured the community’s feedback which was in support of adopting the extended trading hours.

“Getting official approval opens up a lot more opportunities for Geraldton and it is a massive step in the right direction.

“Our goal is to stimulate broader local economic activity by activating business precincts and we’re already seeing this happen,” Mayor Van Styn added.

A 12-month trial of extended general retail trading hours was officially introduced in October 2017 after getting the tick of approval by the Minister.

As part of the trial, a comprehensive review was undertaken in the form of two independent surveys commissioned by the City including a survey on community views and on impact and views of the business community.

Survey reports confirmed 63 per cent of community respondents were in support of continuing extended trading hours. 

Council endorsed the continuation of extended general retail trading hours at the September Council Meeting before seeking approval for the hours which align with Metropolitan Perth. 

“This has been a long journey but a very rewarding one,” Mayor Van Styn added.

“It’s great to see the State Government has listened to the needs and wants of our community.”

Retail trading hours will be as follows:

  • 8.00 am – 9.00 pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday Thursday and Friday;

  • 8.00 am – 5.00 pm on Saturday;

  • 11.00 am – 5.00 pm on Sunday;

  • 11.00 am – 5.00 pm on public holidays;

  • Closed on Christmas Day, Good Friday and ANZAC Day;

Indigo Security's guide to designing a CCTV system

Indigo Security have written a guide to assist with designing a CCTV system for the home or business. 

The CCTV guide can be accessed here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1C-hoHg5fzcPwa35RsS78VXAUQnqo-1C5 

If you have any queries regarding CCTV, Alarm systems or Home Automation, message Indigo Security at https://www.facebook.com/IndigoGeraldton 

or 

Indigo Electrical EC13155 at https://www.facebook.com/indigoelectricalgeraldton


Flares released as part of HMAS Sydney II Commemoration Service

The City of Greater Geraldton wishes to advise local residents that they may hear a series of loud noises and flares released on Monday 19 November, as part of the HMAS Sydney II Commemoration Service. 

At approximately 7pm, a large blank cannon shot will be fired as well as a display of multiple flares off the coast as part of the ceremony, kindly donated by the Geraldton Volunteer Marine Rescue and West Coast Fireworks. 

The City also wishes to remind guests that there is a free shuttle bus service leaving from the QEII Seniors and Community Centre to the Memorial from 4.15pm and returning to the Centre after the service. 

The service will commence at 5pm at the HMAS Sydney II Memorial on Gummer Avenue.

Partnership forged on back of biodiversity burns

 Biodiversity burn at Byne Park early in 2017.

Biodiversity burn at Byne Park early in 2017.

An Everlasting Partnership with the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions -Kings Park Science - has resulted in the expansion of their Prescribed Burning and Weed Management Research to include Byne Park in the City of Greater Geraldton as its most northern research site.

The project, which involves other sites across the southwest, researches how changes in fire frequency and season, invasive species and climate interact with each other and affect Banksia woodlands regeneration with Geraldton now the most northerly site.

Banksia woodlands are an important and iconic part of the west Australian landscape and fire is essential for healthy regeneration of the plants.  With proper management, fire may also help manage bushland weeds, without that management fire can promote weeds. Understanding how and when to use fire is essential to maintaining healthy Banksia ecosystems.

Project Research Scientist, Dr Katinka Ruthrof, said the research involves trialling four different methodologies on small plots within the 80h size woodland located near Bootenal.

“The plots will be treated with a combination of fire/no fire, followed by weed control/no weed control,” she said.

“After the prescribed burns take place in autumn 2019, the sites will be revisited to assess the degree of burning, and fuel consumed, and to directly seed into areas around the plots.  In spring 2019, the plots will be resurveyed to identify recruitment of seedlings and the impact of burning and weed control on recruitment success.

“We have already been seeing some good results elsewhere in the State and it’s important to see if these can be achieved in the Mid West as well.”

City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn said the outcomes of the research will assist the City in better managing its bushland.

“The results of the trails will give us a better understanding of how to predict fire behaviour in terms of regenerating our bushland which will enable us to determine the most cost effective and efficient ways of maintaining healthy and diverse bushland for the future,” he said.

“One of the long term outcomes would be to scale up the successful methodology and replicate it on other sites across the City region.”

For more information on the project, please contact Environmental Planning Officer Erin O’Connor on (08) 9956 6600.


The new Community, Respect, and Equality Agreement paves the way for regional respect

Today, Geraldton is taking its first collective step towards a future where family violence is no more, where all people in our community are safe, and where regional respect is the norm. This step is the introduction of the Community, Respect, & Equality (CRE) Agreement, a collaborative agreement signed by businesses and organisations in Geraldton that says #ViolenceIsNEVEROk.

Family violence is a big problem in Geraldton. Last year the Midwest-Gascoyne Police attended 2819 family violence incidents, a staggering number averaging more than 50 family violence incidents per week. Obviously, this is too many and cause for alarm.  The CRE Agreement is a primary prevention initiative that aims to stop family violence before it starts by challenging the social norms that condone violence in our community.

Organisations and businesses in Geraldton can sign the Agreement to say that they, as an organisation, say no to family violence and the norms that cause it. By signing up, organisations are agreeing to support five agreed values: community collaboration; respect and cultural diversity; equality; safety; and social justice. Once organisations sign up they will be given family violence informational materials which highlight how organisations and businesses can increase awareness of family violence in their workplaces.

Professor Sandra Thompson, the Director of the Western Australian Centre for Rural Health (WACRH) and member of the CRE Reference Group that ratified the Agreement, described the Agreement as an alternative to the current “band aid” style of response to family violence.

“Rather than continually putting band aids on things, the idea is to have some collective action around changing the conversations, to say that ‘this is not okay’ and that we need to work together for a safer and more caring community,” said Professor Thompson.  

“By coming together as a community and signing on to the CRE Agreement, we can begin to change the attitudes that drive family violence in our community and promote healthy, respectful relationships.”

According to Richard Malacari, the Regional Manager, Midwest and Gascoyne, Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries who has been involved with the development of the CRE Agreement, the Agreement will give organisations and businesses the resources and skills to work towards gender equality and to support staff who experience family violence.

“The CRE agreement will allow workplaces to make a real difference in reducing family violence. Knowing that our words and attitudes make a real impact on violence in our community, it is crucial that we build positive workplace cultures that support respect and equality”, he said.  

If you are an organisation or business and would like further information or are interested in endorsing the CRE Agreement, please call Beth Brady, Project Officer at Desert Blue Connect on 9964 2742 or email info@desertblueconnect.org.au 

For more information on the CRE Agreement, please visit the Community, Respect, and Equality website at https://www.communityrespectandequality.com.au

 

If you feel unsafe or would like confidential advice please call:

  • WA Police for assistance 131 444 (000 if urgent)

  • Desert Blue Connect Geraldton - 9964 2742

  • 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732

  • Sexual Assault Crisis Line - 1800 016 789

 “ Sadly, the need for primary prevention is evident in much our work, where we see the harms to people exposed to family violence, particularly when it is severe and protracted. WACRH staff share a common vision of a world where every child, woman and man can fulfil their potential - and this depends upon them feeling safe, valued and having opportunities. This has to start in our homes and local community. ” Professor Sandra Thompson, the Director of the Western Australian Centre for Rural Health (WACRH) and member of the CRE Reference Group.

Sadly, the need for primary prevention is evident in much our work, where we see the harms to people exposed to family violence, particularly when it is severe and protracted. WACRH staff share a common vision of a world where every child, woman and man can fulfil their potential - and this depends upon them feeling safe, valued and having opportunities. This has to start in our homes and local community.” Professor Sandra Thompson, the Director of the Western Australian Centre for Rural Health (WACRH) and member of the CRE Reference Group.

RedFM sponsors 2019 WOW Fest Concert

 City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn (from left) Seven West Media Midwest Regional Manager Jason McCarthy and City CEO Ross McKim seal the renewed deal for RedFM to sponsor the 2019 WoW Festival Concert.

City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn (from left) Seven West Media Midwest Regional Manager Jason McCarthy and City CEO Ross McKim seal the renewed deal for RedFM to sponsor the 2019 WoW Festival Concert.

The Wind on Water Festival 2019 is well on its way to being another smashing success following the signing of an Everlasting Partnership agreement with Seven West Media - RedFM to sponsor the concert component.

City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn was very pleased to see RedFM return as the WoW Fest concert sponsor.

“Thanks to RedFM’s generous support WoW Festival goers were able to rock out with The Veronicas and San Cisco at the first Wow Fest held in April this year,” he said.

“With negotiations underway to secure the headline and support acts for the 2019 event, the signing of an Everlasting Partnership with RedFM to present the concert couldn’t have been better timed.

“The fact Seven West Media continues to partner with the City with this Festival and other arts and cultural initiatives is helping make the City a fantastic place to live and is exactly what the Everlasting Partnership program is all about.”

Seven West Media’s Midwest Regional Manager Jason McCarthy said the WoW Fest sponsorship is a good fit for RedFM.

“We were very proud to be part of the first WoW Fest and in particular the concert which is why we jumped at the opportunity to sponsor the event a second time as we know how much the community loves live music,” he said.

In April 2018, more than 10,000 people from all over the state flocked to the Geraldton Foreshore to take part in the inaugural two-day festival. The 2019 event will take place on 20 and 21 April 2019.

The event was born from two of Geraldton’s natural elements – wind and water, both of which play a key part in the City’s lifestyle and were chosen as the theme for the Festival.

National Recycling Week; find tips on Member for Durack Melissa Price’s Facebook page

National Recycling Week starts today, and Federal Member for Durack and Minister for the Environment Melissa Price urges everyone to do their bit to reduce the massive amount of waste generated across the Durack electorate – and the nation.

“We all have a role to play in reducing the almost 67 million tonnes of waste we generate each year, and be conscious of ways we can increase recycling and save the environment,” she said.

“That’s why the Federal Government has committed to updating the National Waste Policy and setting a clear vision for our recycling industry.

“We have delivered a National Food Waste Strategy to bring together actions by governments, researchers, business and the community to halve food waste by 2030,” said the Minister.

In addition, the Government has provided nearly $50 million to support research and action to meet this goal.

In September, new National Packaging Targets were launched by industry and supported by the Federal Government. The new targets are that by 2025:

·         70% of plastic packaging to be recycled or composted

·         30% average recycled content across all packaging

·         Phase out problematic and unnecessary single use plastic packaging through re-design, innovation or alternative delivery methods

“Recently, I launched the industry-developed Australasian Recycling Label,” the Minister said.

“This is a simple labelling system that gives people the information they need to recycle when it matters most – the few seconds when they’re deciding which recycling bin or collection point to use.

“As part of National Recycling Week, I will post on my Facebook page seven recycling tips over seven days this week, and I encourage Durack residents to visit my page each day of the seven day campaign to embrace the tips and share them to your friends’ Facebook pages.”

You can find Minister Price’s Facebook page by going to MelissaPriceDurack.

Big win for Geraldton and Pilbara Universities Centres

Member for Durack and Minister for the Environment Melissa Price said she is excited that today funding has been announced for the expansion of the Geraldton Universities Centre and the establishment of the Pilbara Universities Centre in the Pilbara.

“The Geraldton Universities Centre has been operating since 2010 as an incorporated body and funding of $1,829,400 has been allocated to expand the centre,” Minister Price said.

“The Pilbara Universities Centre in Karratha and Port Hedland (initially) is new and will be revolutionary for the region and the State; and I’m excited that $3 million in funding has been approved to establish this tertiary education centre.

“I am so excited that both the Mid West and Pilbara will now have nationally recognised and accredited university centres,” Ms Price said.

“I have long been an advocate for preventing the ‘brain drain’ that occurs in regional areas when students leave to study and possibly never return.

“It has always been a priority of mine and I have pushed hard for the Federal Government to support existing and new regional university centres. The approval of the centre in the Pilbara means that students no longer have to leave home to study on campus at a university.

“My vision is to create a ‘Pilbara School of Mines’,” said Ms Price

“The Geraldton Universities Centre was ground-breaking as an education model and I am thrilled this has been recognised and replicated not only in the Pilbara but across Australia,” the Minister said.

The Regional Study Hubs at both Geraldton and Karratha/Port Hedland will provide infrastructure such as study spaces, video conferencing, computing facilities and internet access, as well as academic support for students studying via distance at partner universities.

The Federal Government’s total additional new funding for regional higher education is now $400 million over five years.

Wildlife control program recommences

The City of Greater Geraldton wishes to advise that the wildlife control program has recommenced in order to relocate an influx of corellas in the Geraldton area.

Members of the community are requested to exercise caution and if any loud noises are heard, to not be alarmed.

The City apologises for any inconvenience. If you have any queries please contact the City on (08) 9956 6600 or email council@cgg.wa.gov.au.

Service commemorates HMAS tragedy

 This year will mark 77 years since the sinking of the HMAS  Sydney  II.

This year will mark 77 years since the sinking of the HMAS Sydney II.

This year will mark 77 years since the sinking of the HMAS Sydney II and the legacy of Australia’s greatest naval tragedy will be remembered with a commemorative service.

The annual ceremony held on Monday 19 November will pay homage to 645 crew members who lost their lives at sea after the ship sunk off the Geraldton coast in 1941.

City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn said hundreds flock to the ceremony every year to honour the significant tragedy.

“The battle of the HMAS Sydney II and the German ship the HSK Kormoran is a significant part of Geraldton’s history and our nation’s history,” he said.

“It is only fitting that we pay our respects to those who lost their lives.”

LCDR, RANR Desmond Woods will deliver the main address on behalf of the Royal Australian Navy and guest speakers will include Memorial artists, Joan and Charlie Smith.

The commemorative service will be held at the HMAS Sydney II Memorial on Gummer Avenue on Monday 19 November at 5pm.

To ensure a quiet and reflective HMAS Sydney II Memorial Service, Gummer Avenue carpark will be closed to traffic from 3pm to 8pm.

The City encourages residents to park at the QEII Seniors and Community Centre as there will be a free shuttle bus service.

The service will take passengers from the QEII Seniors and Community Centre to the Memorial from 4.15pm and return to the Centre after the service.

For more information regarding the service, contact the City on 9956 6600.

Police seeking help after two intentionally lit fires on weekend

Geraldton Detectives are seeking the public’s assistance in relation to 2 separate intentionally litfires over the weekend.

The first occurred at the rear of the Northgate Shopping Centre and the second fire occurred shortly thereafter on the rear balcony of the Bill Sewell Complex in Geraldton between 7 and 8pm on Saturday 10 November 2018.

Minimal damage sustained to both locations.

Police are seeking assistance from members of the community who may have witnessed the fires being lit or from any who has information in relation to the fires, please contact Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.

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