Message from the president 27 May 2020
Matters arising from the Shire Economic Relief and Recovery Sub-Committee
Shire Contingency Fund
The Shire is looking to establish a contingency fund that, among others, may be used to provide support for local business and industry provide. Following from the survey it recently conducted, the Shire is seeking comment from the business sector on challenges they are facing and for ideas and suggestions for support. In order for such ideas and suggestions to be of use in developing actions, the Shire has asked that they be detailed, realistically achievable, measurable and of benefit to local business and industry.
Council will consider the fund as part of the budget process and the Shire Budget is due to be finalised at the end of June. Having specific suggestions before them would certainly help Officers shape proposals and might help Councillors focus attention on the real needs of businesses. However, it is not absolutely necessary for you to put ideas forward before the Budget is complete so you do have time to give extended consideration to this matter.
Please consider this providing ideas to the Shire – either directly to Mr Mike Pengelly (Strategic Projects Advisor at the Shire) or through the Chamber of Commerce. And, if you are able, pass the request on to business associates who might not be members of the Chamber.
The Shire is presently working of balancing their plan for no rate increases and the problems posed by the State Government’s refusal to delay implementation of the triennial revaluations of property by the Valuer General. These may affect ratepayers in different ways.
The Shire is alive to the problems this may pose for businesses and is working on ways to minimise the impact. Officers will prepare explanatory material that can be sent out to ratepayers/businesses once the budget process/rates modelling has been worked through and finalised.
The Perth Hills Tourism Alliance have been working on the draft final Marketing Plan.
State Government “Roadmap” for easing restrictions
Phase 3 changes may be implemented in the near future; one has already been indicated – the lifting of most restrictions on regional travel within WA from this coming Friday. Note that there are still areas where travel is restricted. For details on what Phase 3 may include go to www.wa.gov.au
Businesses are reminded of the need to complete the relevant training and to provide certificates as required. The Shire’s Local Relief and Recovery Coordinator has noted that a survey of food businesses revealed that a considerable number were not fully aware of the State’s requirements. Shire Health Officers are available to provide assistance and guidance for businesses. Officers will not be seeking to impose penalties.
Economic development generally
One of the top three activities that respondents to the Shire survey of businesses identified was the need for ongoing marketing and development programmes. Among the next six top issues was the need to produce an economic development and tourism strategy – arguably the higher level document out of which marketing and development programmes would be generated. While Shire finances may be limited in the near future, it is still important to maintain pressure on the Shire and Councillors for a strategy to be an immediate priority when finances/resources are available. I would ask you to put this to Councillors if you see the possibility of funding being available in the form of grants, or Commonwealth or other assistance. It will be too easy for Council to forget the proposal when there are things like a pandemic or North Stoneville occupying the public mind.
Proposed State changes to building approvals
While the State is proposing to remove the need for shire permits in the case of certain building projects, there will remain a need for a Building Licence. Should the changes proceed and before undertaking any work, Members are advised to discuss work with Shire Officers.
Note also that this advice applies to alterations to “Change of Use” that the State is also proposing.
Matters more generally
Orange Route (Perth-Adelaide National Highway)
The City of Swan is preparing material to advance the case for work on this long proposed project to shift the major east-west transport route through Red Hill and out to Wooroloo (now proposed to rejoin GE Highway around Clackline ). This route was first mooted over 30 years ago. Two Chamber Members have or will be interviewed for the Swan exercise as part of a video presentation on the impact of heavy traffic in and around Mundaring.
While much of the proposed highway re-alignment is in the City of Swan, a major outcome would be the reduction of heavy vehicle traffic through this Shire. If you have a chance, and are supportive of the project, please take to opportunity to press Councillors to support Swan’s efforts.
Online workshops for business
Several online workshops are available this week: one hosted by the Shire of Mundaring and provided by the Small Business Development Corporation; a number provided by Unlcoking U – Morgan Holmes, through the Chamber.