Shire to shutdown facilities, examine relief options

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times

The Shire of Augusta-Margaret River is working on potential financial relief options for residents as it prepares to shut down non-essential services later today.

In a revised statement this morning, Shire chief executive Stephanie Addison-Brown said managers were working on measures they hoped to put before councillors on Wednesday night.

Ms Addison-Brown said the Shire was “investigating options to offer financial support and relief to residents, ratepayers, businesses and community groups”.

“Again we have a number of ideas on table and will be urgently working through the viability of the options,” she said.Shire administration offices, recreation centres, libraries, and the Margaret River Heart will close to the public, with caravan parks to cease taking new bookings and check-ins.

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Changing State Government guidelines could see further reductions to operations, but officers were also looking at alternative means for delivering ratepayer services.

Ms Addison-Brown said the aim was to deliver “as many community services possible”.

“We are closing down public facilities, but we want for our community to know that staff and key stakeholders are working as quickly as possible to identify alternative means of service delivery,” she said.

“We will look at options for online and phone customer support, online or downloadable fitness classes, drive-through or mobile library services, and any other options we can identify as being safe and in line with the changing State Government health guidelines.

“It may take some time to work through the exact arrangements for all of our services and facilities, but we be proactive in keeping people informed at regular intervals,” she said.

“We will certainly endeavour to be responsive to the community’s needs and concerns at this time.”Waste facilities remained open, and outside school hours-care would continue, though crèche services had closed.

Earlier this morning, Shire president Ian Earl said officers were reviewing Shire caravan parks where some displaced travellers remained.

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