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;

Council votes in favour of extended trading hours

Council have endorsed the continuation of extended general retail trading hours in Geraldton at last night’s Council meeting. 

After what Council agreed was a “community decision”, the City will now seek approval from Minister for Commerce William Johnston, to align retail hours with Metropolitan Perth on an ongoing basis. 

City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn said the decision was what the community wanted. 

“We’re not doing anything radical, this is what our community members have asked for,” he said. 

“These are very standard hours, which are actually less than what most centres enjoy so we see it as a fair compromise. 

“Our goals are to stimulate broader local economic activity, by activating business precincts, and – most importantly, to meet the expressed needs and preferences of the community. 

“And we’re doing exactly that.” 

A 12-month trial of extended general retail trading hours was officially introduced in October last year after being given 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. 

“Extended trading hours has been very well received by our community since the trial and this is a big step in the right direction for the growth of our City,” Mayor Van Styn added. 

“We are continuing to diversify our economy and if we want to be a regional city of choice for investors we need to be prepared and flexible.” 

The City will now seek approval from the Minister for continuation on an ongoing basis of general retail trading hours, aligned with Metropolitan Perth.

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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;

Beresford Foreshore activation gets green light

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With the Beresford Foreshore Enhancement Project nearing completion, Council has given the green light to further activation of the area by providing two locations for temporary services or facilities to operate from.

The Foreshore Use and Development Policy was amended by Council at their Meeting on 25 September to include space at Midalia’s Beach for temporary services or facilities and another space at the Dean Street node for multi-use mobile orientated businesses.

City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn said the inclusion of the two sites in the Policy aligned with community aspirations for low-key activation of the Foreshore.

“In a community survey conducted in 2016, sporting equipment hire or lessons and food and drink outlets ranked 4th and 5th respectively on a list of services or amenities the community said would improve the Beresford Foreshore,” he said.

“Even though the Foreshore has only been partially open since last Thursday, it is already swarming with people walking, jogging or riding bikes along the promenade.

“Who wouldn’t want to enjoy a coffee or snack whilst taking in the fantastic ocean views or treat the kids to some ice cream whilst they are playing on the beach or in the soon to be completed nature playground?”

An Expression of Interest (EOI) for commercial activities for both the Dean Street and Midalia’s Beach locations will be issued in early October.

For more information, please visit the City’s website www.cgg.wa.gov.au


Police Minister unable to confirm whereabouts of sex offenders

Shadow Minister for Police Peter Katsambanis has called on the State Government to immediately reassure the public that police know the whereabouts of all 58 suspects charged with child sex offences as a result of Operation Fledermaus.

Mr Katsambanis said it defied belief that Minister for Police Michelle Roberts could not yesterday confirm to Parliament if any of the 58 men charged with 349 child sex offences as a result of Operation Fledermaus were in custody, or whether police knew the whereabouts of those not in custody.

“What the Minister is saying is that these offenders could be living anywhere in the State and she cannot confirm the police know their whereabouts,” Mr Katsambanis said.

“The Minister could not, even with almost 24 hours’ notice of the question, tell Parliament if any of the 58 offenders and alleged offenders were on the sex offenders register.”

Shadow Minister for Child Protection Nick Goiran, who asked for the information in Legislative Council Question Time, said Minister Roberts requested his question be put on notice, effectively allowing her to avoid answering for more than a month.

“This latest abuse of the Parliamentary question process adds to the shameful list of contradictory, obstructive and obtuse answers the Minister for Child Protection Simone McGurk has provided around the outcome of Operation Fledermaus,” Mr Goiran said.

“WA Police told the media more than a year ago that 184 child victims were identified in Operation Fledermaus, recently the Minister for Police told Parliament there are 50 victims.

“Were there ever 184 victims? Who were the other 134 children Minister McGurk, after eight months of questioning, assured the public were not in the care of a person either charged or convicted of child abuse?

“It has to be asked if anyone in this Government knows what is happening with victims in Roebourne and the West Pilbara.

“I can only imagine the outcry if 58 men in one Perth suburb were charged with child abuse and the Minister could not reassure the public that police knew the whereabouts of all those charged or convicted.”


Celebration of blooms at wildflower festival

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The Midwest is experiencing one of its best wildflower seasons in years but if you can’t find the time to get out and do some exploring, the Mullewa Wildflower Festival ‘Outback Bloom’ is for you! 

Outback Bloom is one of the biggest wildflower celebrations in the region and showcases a huge collection of flora as well as art and displays.

City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn said the event was in its 32nd year and would be one of the biggest ones yet.

“Outback Bloom is the perfect place to see the region’s wildflower species on display and because of all the rain we have had this year, our local flora is looking as vibrant as ever,” he said.

“The Midwest has over 12,000 wildflower species making it one of the largest in the world.

“It’s great that all of these blooming beauties will be in one location for everyone to see and enjoy, and I commend the Mullewa community for bringing everyone together for this great celebration.”

Mullewa Community Resource Centre Coordinator Colby Elliott said this year’s display would be a sight to behold.

“This year’s wildflower season is off to a cracking start and there are masses of colours everywhere,” he said.

“Our local licensed collectors, pick species under strict licence from Department of Parks and Wildlife, for display and scientific purpose for our event.

“It’s great that we can bring all of the Midwest’s native flora under one roof for a big celebration.”

Outback Bloom will kick off on Thursday 23 August and run until Sunday 26 August. Attendees can see the displays from 9am to 4pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and from 9am to 2pmon Sunday.

Tickets can be purchased from the Mullewa Community Resource Centre and range from $5 per person to $1.

Visitors to the event will be able to explore wildflower displays, grab something to eat and explore a souvenir stall.

The 85th Mullewa Agriculture Show coincides on the same weekend and has everything from monster trucks, Bubble Muffin Kids Cooking Club, circus challenge play zone, sideshow alley, fireworks, the quick shear and the popular LiveLighter Mullewa Gift.

For more information about Outback Bloom, visit www.mullewa.crc.net.au

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Government must act on public sector corruption

The State Opposition has called on the McGowan Government to undertake an urgent, independent review into public sector procurement practices, in the wake of two Corruption and Crime Commission (CCC) reports which revealed corruption within the WA public sector.

Shadow Minister for Government Accountability Tjorn Sibma said the Opposition shared the public’s anger at CCC findings of corrupt behaviour by bureaucrats at both the North Metropolitan Health Service (NMHS) and Horizon Power.

“Given the alarming revelations in these two reports, and Commission’s concerns this systematic bribery and corruption could be more widespread, it is important for all senior executives in the public sector and indeed the entire Cabinet to take this matter exceptionally seriously,” Mr Sibma said.

“We need an independent reviewer to perform a detailed examination of the issues highlighted in the reports to identify why we have a system that permits corruption like this to occur over the course of many year, and to provide recommendations for improvement.”

Mr Sibma offered the Opposition’s bipartisan commitment to assist the Government to address this problem in order to restore public confidence in the WA public sector.

“It is concerning that we have a system that seems to rely on whistle-blowers at the bottom and independent agencies at the top” he said.

“We need to drive better systems of accountability within the agencies and also hold these directors general of these departments responsible for the performance of their staff.

“There is opportunity to bolster internal audit and performance management to limit the misappropriation of public funds, restore public confidence, and protect the reputation of the overwhelming majority of public servants who do the right thing.

“We also need to provide confidence to the vast majority of private sector contractors who behave ethically when dealing with the State Government.”

Round three of Safer Communities Fund now open

Federal Member for Durack Melissa Price has called on local councils and community organisations in Durack to apply for a share of up to $1 million in funding through the Safer Communities Fund which is now open for round 3.

The Safer Communities Fund is a Federal Government commitment to keep Australians safe and secure by enhancing the efforts of local councils and community organisations to address crime and antisocial behaviour.

“I encourage councils and community organisations in my electorate to apply through the third round of funding for security enhancement projects, including for initiatives such as CCTV, bollards, lighting and crime prevention through environmental design initiatives,” Ms Price said.

Due to the program’s success, the Federal Government announced in May, an additional $30 million in funding from assets confiscated by the Commonwealth as proceeds of crime.

Round 3 will be split across two types of grant opportunities:

  • About $18 million for infrastructure grants; and
  • About $12 million for early intervention grants.

“As well as the infrastructure stream, I’m excited to announce that the third round includes the separate early intervention stream for community organisations to deliver crime prevention, or activity based youth engagement projects,” Ms Price said.

The two funding streams provide a robust example of the Government’s commitment to the safety and security of local communities.

Applications for the infrastructure stream close on 25 September 2018. Information on how to apply for funding is available on the Australian Government’s Safer Communities Fund – Infrastructure Stream website at business.gov.au/safer-communities-fund, or by calling 13 28 46.

Applications under the early intervention stream will open on 28 August 2018 and close on 25 September 2018.  Information on how to apply for funding is available on the Australian Government’s Safer Communities Fund – Early Intervention Stream website at business.gov.au/safer-communities-fund-early-intervention or by calling 13 28 46.

The Ultimate MC Battle to hit Geraldton

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Get ready Geraldton, because the ultimate battle of MC's has arrived!

This award-winning sellout show “Comedians vs Rappers” is guaranteed to tickle your fancy - featuring a lineup of WA’s fastest, quick-witted rappers.

Come watch Fringe's best comedians take on the country's best battle rappers, in a war on words and laughs. Comics or Rappers? Who will win? Only time will tell...

“Comedians vs Rappers is essentially a game show filled with different rounds, points, and a DJ who has great timing with his soundboard,” Says Samantha Chemuduri from fringefeed.com.au

No rehearsals, no scripts, just 100% improvisation at it’s finest.

This uber-engaging show has 5 epic rounds packed with audience participation. One of everyone’s favourite rounds is called “Pick Up” which involves coming up with pick up lines for audience members.

The truly unmissable Comedians vs Rappers will take place at The Gerald on the 17th of August. Doors open at 7pm and show starts at 8pm.

Tickets are now on sale at just $25 from eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/comedians-vs-rappers-tickets-48321794789

Tickets can be purchased at the door for $35.

This event is 18+ and proudly presented by Euphorium Creative, formerly known as The Comedy Emporium.

"The best way to watch comedy, is in rap battle" ★★★★ The Music

Cameliers Guesthouse to close after 34 years

Cameliers Guesthouse, Geraldton’s longest serving low cost supported accommodation service will be forced to close its doors on the 30th August due to increased operational costs and revenue challenges that mean we can no longer provide the level of staffing that we need to provide a safe, secure and compliant service to residents and staff.

Fusion senior staff have spent many hours over the past few months meeting with politicians, council, key agencies and other stakeholders to try and secure the resources necessary to continue, but we are very sad to have come to this decision to close Cameliers Guesthouse after no long term sustainable solutions have been reached.

Fusion has been operating Cameliers Guesthouse since 1984, and since the day we began have relied on volunteers, the generosity of the community and partnerships with other local agencies to provide a level of support to the residents and clients that call Cameliers home.  For the 34 years of operation of Cameliers Guesthouse all of our senior management staff have operated at part paid and part volunteer capacity and this has continued right up until today.  In more recent years it has been increasingly difficult to secure the staff that we need and with ever increasing competition for shrinking government funding and more agencies in town the level of cooperation and support has dwindled.  

Increasing compliance regulations, changes to Fairwork Australia rules and increasing costs of wages, power and water have led to ever growing operational cost and requirements.  At the same time our client group have not seen any significant increases in their income, leaving us without a capacity to increase our revenue.  Neither have we been able to secure government funding beyond the small amount of funding we receive to provide a minimal number of crisis beds.  All of these things have contributed to us reaching the point where it is no longer financially or morally right for us to continue to operate Cameliers.

Fusion will continue to provide a cutting edge mental health accommodation service in Geraldton and will look for other opportunities to develop our support those in need in our community.  Over our 34 years in Geraldton, Fusion has built a positive reputation and a broad network of other agencies, caring groups and individuals and we will continue to work with these people and others to serve this community.  We will be working with a number of these partner agencies to assist the current residents at Cameliers Guesthouse to get the accommodation and support that they need.

For more information or interviews contact Alison Hilton on 0423 895 978

Talented youths make chocolate factory even sweeter…

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Let Creative Works Youth Theatre take you on an enchanting journey of adventure and delicious treats as Willy Wonka himself launches a worldwide contest to select an heir to his candy empire!

Creative Works Youth Theatre is a fantastic community-based theatre here in Geraldton, putting on the well-known timeless classic, Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. More importantly, it will be performed by our very creative and talented local children right here at Queens Park Theatre.

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This family performance of Roald Dahl's beloved tale is suitable for all ages, and is approximately 2 hours with one interval.

So please fill your pockets with sweets and join us in a world of pure imagination...

There will be two spectacularly tasty shows on Saturday the 25th of August 2018 at 2pm and at 7pm.

Tickets are $12 for under 18-year-olds and $18 for an adult, and can be purchased from: https://au.patronbase.com/_QPTheatre/Productions/18CF/Performances

Why not treat yourself and buy a ticket… because let’s face it, muffin compares to Willy Wonk

Port Farewells Mick Price

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After almost a 50-year career spent down by the wharfs of Geraldton Port, crane operator Mick Price hung-up his hard hat for the final time on Friday.

While being farewelled by friends and colleagues, some of who he has worked alongside for decades, Mick had the chance to reflect on his 47-year-tenure and the road that brought him there.

He had never been one to shy away from a hard day’s work - even as a 10 year old he was up at the crack-of-dawn to drive a self-propelled header on his parents farm.

As a teenager he was eager to enter the workforce, so much so he even admits to telling a white lie when he first applied for a job at the Port.

“It was 1969, at about this time of year, when I first applied for a job down on the wharfs,” he said.

“I was 16 but In those days you had to be 18 to work here, so I added on a few years and got the job.

“Eventually they found out and told me to come back and try again when I was of age. So that’s what I did and in 1971 I was back again working in maintenance.”

Chuffed with his weekly wage of $49, Mick made sure he worked hard to earn his money.

His duties started out as mixing concrete, replacing the jetties at the Fishing Boat Harbour and painting and replacing the old timber fender systems on the berths.

As the Port expanded, with Mick witness to the construction of berth 5, 6 and 7, his duties also evolved and he went on to sandblasting and maintaining the Port’s machinery.

“I’ve certainly seen some changes down here that’s for sure,” he said.

“Even the tools we started off using - it used to take two of us to work the handoperated drills when we were replacing the fenders.

“I’ve done a lot of different jobs in my time and for the past 10 years I’ve been operating and maintaining our cranes, which I’ve gone up two grades in.

“We’ve got a pretty good group down here and all get on pretty well – I think the thing I’ll miss most is my mates.”

Mick has no plans to slow down in retirement and is eager to spend more time restoring his fleet of vintage cars and machinery, which includes a 39 Ford De Luxe.

When he’s not tinkering with his cars, the rest of his time will most likely be taken up by his nine grandchildren.

Mid West Ports Authority Chief Executive Officer Steve Lewis thanked Mick for his years of service and wished him and his family all the best for the next chapter.

“Mick has been part of the fabric of the Geraldton Port for almost half a century,” he said.

“He takes with him considerable history and memories of how the port has developed over this time.”

Before the end of his final shift, Mick offered some final words of advice for those preceding him.

“I really think making sure we always bring in apprentices and give them the time and effort to learn is really important,” he said.

“I’ve always had a lot of time for the younger guys coming through.

“Other than that, I think it’s important to just get to know the people you’re working with and be social with them.

“Have a beer together every now and then - they could end up being some of your good mates.”

MWPA staff and Board thank Mick for his years of service and wish him a happy and healthy retirement.

Member for Geraldton welcomes speed limit removal

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Findings from a recent review suggesting that the 80km/h speed reduction was no longer necessary at the Eneabba railway are welcomed by Member for Geraldton Ian Blayney MLA.

“Minister Saffioti has reassured me that the 110km/h speed limit at the three crossings on the Dongara -Eneabba railway will be reinstated after Main Roads conducted a review into the operations of the railway.

“This is an issue that I’ve been pursuing for some time so I’m glad that it’s now resolved”, said Mr Blayney. “I’ll be happy to see the 80km/h signs removed.

“I wrote to the Minister regarding the issue for the first time at the start of the year after constituents had expressed concerns regarding the reduction in speed limit to 80km/h at these locations.

Mr Blayney said that he agreed with constituents who felt that the speed reductions were unjustified considering the line hasn’t been operational for quite some time.

“If there are no trains, there is no danger and therefore no need for a speed reduction.

Having the 110km/h signs reinstated would also help to reduce the costs associated with replacing the signs when they were knocked down by angry motorists.

“Motorists were needlessly being booked for exceeding the limit at these crossings.

“This caused lots of motorists to become angry and in some cases led to motorists knocking these signs down.

Mr Blayney was advised back in January by Minister Saffioti that a review into the maintenance operations of this railway line, including the need for speed zoning, was being conducted and that the results of this report would be available later in the year.

“I followed up on this review with her a couple of months ago and she has advised that the 110km/h signs will be reinstated shortly.

“Thank you to the community for raising this issue with me.”

Extended trading hours survey circulates

Locals will soon be asked for their opinion about the future of extended trading hours in Geraldton as an online and phone survey circulates.

A 12-month trial of extended general retail trading hours was officially introduced in October last year after given the tick of approval by Minister for Commerce and Industrial Relations Bill Johnston MLA.

Now with three months left in the trial, an independent survey is being conducted by consultants to measure the impact extended trading hours has had on the Geraldton community and local businesses.

City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn urged people to take the survey if they were called or emailed.

“A sample of our population will be targeted to take the survey via phone or via an online link and I urge those people to have their say as it will have a huge impact on our community,” he said.

“The City has contracted fully independent specialists to conduct the survey to ensure the results best reflect the opinions of our residents and business owners.

“We want to know what is best for our community and therefore we need people to have their say so we can implement the right outcome.”

The survey is currently underway and once the sample is complete a report will be compiled and sent to the Minister for the final decision on extended general retail trading hours in Geraldton.

Visitor Centre deck closed to repair vandalism

The City of Greater Geraldton wishes to advise the decked area under the Morton Bay fig tree located beside the Geraldton Visitor Centre is closed until further notice to repair damage caused by vandals last night.

Members of the community are requested to exercise caution and obey all warning signs and directions from authorised City personnel and contractors.

The City apologises for any inconvenience these works may cause.

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

Aquarena leisure pool closed for maintenance

The City of Greater Geraldton wishes to advise that the Aquarena will be closing its leisure pool for a period of eight weeks from Monday 16 July through to 9 September 2018 for scheduled maintenance.

The main pool and the hydrotherapy pool will remain open during this time.

Works include tile repairs, installation of new lane rope anchors and the cleaning of the over-head air duct. To ensure public safety during this time the leisure pool will be fenced off.

Customers are requested to obey all warning signs and directions from Aquarena staff during this time.

The City apologises for any inconvenience these works may cause.

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

Wreck at Dongara beach identified

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Research by the Western Australian Museum into a recently discovered shipwreck at 7 Mile Beach in Dongara points to it being the Margaret Ann.

WA Museum Maritime Archaeology Curator Dr Ross Anderson said his work was greatly assisted by leads provided by the local community, after a call out for its help to identify the remains of the motorised wooden cray boat.

Chris Akerstrom contacted the Museum with information that the Margaret Ann LFB16, operated by her late husband Mick Akerstrom, sank at its moorings in the early 1960s and was never salvaged.

“A number of other leads were followed up, but from the available evidence the wreck is most likely the Margaret Ann,” Dr Anderson said.

“It was a 6.6-metre motorised, single-mast, carvel-planked wooden vessel, which matches the archaeological information the Museum had recorded.”

The area where the wreck was found is a haven for fishing boats as it is sheltered from prevailing southerly winds.

Dongara teacher Aletta Bussenschutt, who discovered the vessel at a depth of about three metres while snorkelling and reported the find to the WA Museum, said she is glad a name can be put to the wreck.

“It’s been a great response from the community – hearing old stories from past fishermen and their family members, current fishermen interested in local history have been raising questions, and Dongara District High School students are excited they personally know the finder and can’t wait to go snorkelling on a shipwreck!” Ms Bussenschutt said.

The WA Museum would like to thank everyone who provided information during this investigation.

“Throughout this process we also found out about three other vessels that were wrecked in the area – two of which there were no records of previously,” Dr Anderson said.

“It just goes to show how much valuable information is held by the community!”

Verified information is being added to the Museum’s shipwreck database and is helping document the evolution of the Mid West crayfishing trade.

Central Regional TAFE announced as award finalists

Central Regional TAFE (CRTAFE) are finalists in this year’s WA Training Awards in two categories.

  • WA Large Training Provider of the Year 2018
  • WA Industry Collaboration Award 2018

The Hon Sue Ellery BA MLC, Minister for Education and Training announced the organisational finalists yesterday and said that this year's finalists demonstrate how the training sector delivers vital education and training opportunities while providing important services to the community.

“The WA Training Awards encourage continuous improvement, innovation and excellence in a sector that is critical to building the State's capacity” she said.

CRTAFE is the only regional TAFE amongst the three overall finalists in the WA Large Training Provider of the Year category.

The college is being recognised as a leader in industries such as maritime, agriculture, land management, community services, local government, mining and nursing. Also for continuing to place students, industry partners and strong links with community and Aboriginal people, at the forefront of activities.

There are also three overall finalists in the Industry Collaboration category. CRTAFE are finalists for being the training partners of the Biodiversity Conservation Collaboration Project (in Geraldton) to manage invasive aquatic species and restore key ecosystems on Australia's Coral Coast.

The project gives students real world experience while helping to protect WA's Abrolhos Islands. CRTAFE won the ‘On-ground Coastal Management Award’ for the project earlier this year at the WA Coastal Awards for Excellence.

CRTAFE Acting Managing Director Joanne Payne said it was fantastic to be recognised amongst such an outstanding group of training organisations.

“We are so proud to be finalists and to be recognised for the many achievements we have had over the last year” she said.

“Our staff work tirelessly to support and guide students through their vocational education journey and strive to establish innovative training programs that are beneficial for local industry” she said.

Ms Payne said the college was particularly excited to see the conversation project at the Abrolhos Islands recognised as it has been a significant collaborative effort for the TAFE and project partners, spanning across 4 years and involving over 600 community volunteers, students and stakeholders.

“Staff at our Batavia Coast Maritime Institute still oversee ongoing activities which have resulted from the project to ensure successful outcomes continue into the future” she said.

“We would like to congratulate all of the other finalists of this year’s awards for the great work they do in ensuring the continual improvement of the WA training sector” she said.

Award winners will be announced in September. Winners may also be eligible to compete against the nation's best at the Australian Training Awards later in the year.

Roads remain closed

The City of Greater Geraldton wishes to advise the following roads remain closed to the general public.

  • Casuarinas Road
  • Erangy Springs Road

The City urges members of the community to adhere to road closures as unauthorised use results in extensive road damage.

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

National Redress Scheme begins in Durack

Member for Durack Melissa Price said survivors of child sexual abuse living in Durack should apply to the National Redress Scheme that launched on 1 July.

The National Redress Scheme was a recommendation of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Ms Price said the Scheme was established to provide counselling, an acknowledgement from the institution involved and a redress payment to people who were sexually abused in an institutional setting as children.

“To apply for redress, people will complete a form explaining what happened to them and how it has impacted them. You can do that on paper or online through myGov,” Ms Price said.

“Redress Support Services are available to help people understand the Scheme and complete their application, while free legal and financial support is also available.

“I encourage anyone in Durack who is a survivor of child sex abuse to apply for the Scheme.

“This is an important part of the healing process. Redress will acknowledge the hurt and the harm suffered by survivors, and ensure that institutions take responsibility for the abuse that occurred on their watch, by their people.”

For more information about the National Redress Scheme:

People who need immediate assistance can contact:

  • Lifeline on 13 11 14 (24 hours)
  • 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732
  • MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978

Member for Geraldton elated that Southgate is saved

The decision to refuse the approval of Amendment No. 4 of the City of Greater Geraldton Town Planning Scheme NO. 1A is welcomed by Local Member for Geraldton, Ian Blayney MLA.

“The amendment initiated the planning scheme to rezone the land at Southgate for development purposes”, said Mr Blayney.

“Given the significance of the Southgate Dunes in the region, I am pleased development and subdivision will not be implemented.

Mr Blayney said there was widespread consternation throughout the community when changes enabling the subdivision of 780 hectares on Southgate Dunes were reported in the paper in 2016.

“I wrote to the Minister for Planning several times advising against the proposed changes.

“Southgate is an environmentally sensitive area and any disruption to the dunes may impact on local beaches.

Mr Blayney said that he opposed the changes not only because the dunes are a significant natural asset but also because Geraldton already has problems with beach erosion.

“Any disruption to the sand recharge could further exacerbate coastal erosion in the area.

“This will not only detract from the attractiveness of Geraldton’s beaches but will also add to local government costs as they would have to address such effects.

“I am delighted the Southgate Dunes have been saved.”