I really should get into the habit of taking a few selfies when I go places. It would save me the trouble of putting together silly graphics like that one.
It’s been a busy, but fairly typical few days.
Tuesday 27th February
- Rockingham Kwinana Chamber of Commerce Business Breakfast
- Rockingham PCYC Committee
- Customer Service Review Committee
- February Council Meeting
Wednesday 28th February
- Mature Adult Learning Association Enrolment Day
- Rockingham Volunteers Centre
- Cultural Advisory Committee
Rockingham Kwinana Chamber of Commerce Business Breakfast
Early start on Tuesday morning attending a breakfast at the Gary Holland Centre and watching a presentation by Nathan Viles, Senior Economist of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA.
The good news is that the CCI believes things are looking up for the Western Australian economy. They believe the worst is behind us and we will soon see positive change. Some of the highlights of the presentation include;
- 28% of WA businesses are expecting to increase their workforce in the next quarter.
- Short-Term business confidence is the highest it’s been in four years.
- 2 out of 5 businesses are looking to increase production.
- 74% of consumers believe they have improved or similar job prospects as this time last year.
- 67% of consumers say they are in a better financial situation than this time last year.
- Wages are forecast to increase 1.7% this year and 2.4% next year.
So overall it looks like things are looking up.
Whilst the presentation was great and really informative, my favourite bit of events like these is getting to meet lots of people. Some of the people I shared a table with include the guys from a really successful local business that counts Shell, BHP, Alcoa and the Australian Defence Dept as clients; RMD Tankers.
Not content with just being a successful business, RMD Tankers are also giving back to the community by funding a scholarship that offers young Rockingham residents the opportunity to take part in one of the Leeuwin Foundation voyages. I spent some time talking to the Leeuwin Foundation CEO, Carol Shannon who’s been involved with the organisation for 30 years.
If you’re not familiar with the work the Leeuwin Foundation does with young adults, you can find out more information here.
Rockingham PCYC Committee
The team at the PCYC is going from strength to strength. I was really impressed by how quickly things are changing at the centre. Attendance numbers are up, new programs are starting all the time, and they’ll soon be hosting a massive skate park event that is sure to draw crowds from all over Perth. Something that’s now on offer and is a little different to anything I’ve seen locally in a long time is the Junior Darts Academy. Places are filling up fast, it’s on at 10am every Sunday and is open to ages 10-17.
Customer Service Review Committee
The Customer Service Review Committee oversees – as the name suggests – how the city deals with residents and ensures any complaints or issues are dealt with properly. Like any big organisation sometimes mistakes are made and people are left upset or disappointed. I’m pleased to report that overall customer satisfaction is up, issues are rare, and when they do occur, steps are taken by the CEO to ensure we learn from our mistakes and make changes so it doesn’t happen again.
It’s common sense that you can’t please everyone, all the time, but I think the staff at the City come pretty close.
February Council Meeting
The council meetings are always interesting, and this time was no exception.
Questions were asked by members of the public on topics such as weed control, the proposed Mangles Bay Marina – I’m against it, but at this stage I’d just like the state government to hurry up and make a decision so we can all get on with our lives – finding a new venue for local sporting clubs and the proposed Montessori School in Karnup.
The Tourism Strategy Development Advisory Group
The Tourism Strategy Development Advisory Group (TSDAG) has been established and will soon meet for the first time. I’ll be the Council representative – which I’m very excited about. The TSDAG has been setup to provide local industry perspectives and expert advice during the development of the Rockingham Tourism Strategy. Other participants in the committee include local business owners and operators in the accommodation, tourist attraction, and restaurant industries, representatives from Tourism WA, Tourism Rockingham, the Rockingham Visitors Centre, the Rockingham Kwinana Chamber of Commerce, Experience Perth and the Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions. This is the group that will make recommendations as to the future tourism marketing by the City of Rockingham.
Paramount Private Estate
A new subdivision in Baldivis has been given approval for their proposed street naming theme ‘Paramount Studios’. For those who’re unhappy with the idea, please keep in mind that the development sits on what used to be ‘Paramount Stud’ which was involved in livestock breeding. The examples of the proposed street names are all American, and I’ll be honest, a little boring, but they are just that, examples. So who knows, we may see a few Australian actors from Paramount Studios being named, as long as they’re dead. Turns out that the Geographic Names Committee, which is part of Landgate doesn’t allow streets to be named after living people. So we can have Andrew Street or Burns Road, but we won’t be seeing Andrew Burns Boulevard until after I’m gone.
Rockingham Montessori School
The approval application from Rockingham Montessori was knocked back. I can see the potential in this. When it does finally go ahead I believe Rockingham Montessori will be the premier Montessori school in the state. Having it in the City of Rockingham is something I’m very supportive of. Unfortunately, at this stage the guys in our planning department can still see too many holes in the proposal covering things like traffic management on a main road, bush fire readiness and a few other things too. I really hope we see the application before council again soon, as I know the school has a lot of support. None more so than Cr Mark Jones, who announced that he’s so supportive of the school, he’s enrolled his kids.
Community Grants Program
A number of community grants were awarded, some of which were.
- Baldivis Childrens Forest received funding to assist with their running costs.
- Rockingham Districts Historical Society received funding to maintain the Rockingham Museum.
- Rockingham PCYC received funding to support their Basketball program.
- South East Regional Centre for Urban Landcare received funding to control a serious weed problem near the Paganoni Regional Park.
- The Rockingham Model Railway Group received funding to support a feasibility study into the development of a Hobby Hub.
- Rockingham Sporting Football and Social Club received funding to upgrade the canteen facilities at the club houses.
A fairly heated debate took place over two subjects. One was the procedures that are in place that guide the decision making of the Community Grants Program. I think Cr Lee Downham made some great points and I suspect we’ll be hearing more on the subject in the future.
The other hot topic was Cr Matt Whitfield’s proposal for a review of the Planning Dept. He’s quick to point out that we have a very well respected team within the industry, but that he’s pushing for a review to see if things could be even better and that this is on the back of information received from ratepayers. Given Baldivis is a growth suburb with new developments happening constantly, I don’t think it’s surprising that Cr Whitfield has more to do with the planning department than most councillors.
Overall it was another successful example of democracy at work and I’d invite everyone to attend the next one that will be held on Tuesday 27 March 2018 at 6:00pm in the Council Chambers, Civic Boulevard, Rockingham.
Mature Adult Learning Association Enrolment Day at Rockingham Central Library
I spent a bit of time with Cr Joy Stewart, Esther Grogan and the rest of the team at MALA Rockingham during their enrolment day held at the Rockingham Library. Courses on offer cover everything from The Science of Light to The Philosophy of Existence and Death. From Crochet for Beginners to DNA and Family History. Talk about a broad, eclectic, range of topics.
Rockingham Volunteers Centre
It would have been rude of me to spend a few hours at the Rockingham Library and not drop in to see Meg and her team at the Rockingham Volunteers Centre. I didn’t stay for long as they were all incredibly busy, but they are still very keen for more local organisations to register with them. They have budding and enthusiastic volunteers ready to go, we just need to find suitable places.
Cultural Advisory Committee
The Cultural Advisory Committee provides advice and guidance on cultural development and the arts, whilst representing the community’s needs and aspirations in line with the City’s Cultural Development and Arts Strategy. I’m not normally an attendee, but stepped in on behalf of another Councillor who was unable to attend. I must say the committee are very passionate about the arts and our city. There’s a very clear desire from many in the arts community to see more events like the recent Romance On The Green, and to see more facilities made available like the Rockingham Arts Centre.
Something that was discussed and would have to be considered a long term objective was the possibility of constructing a Performing Arts Centre. At this stage it’s not something that’s under consideration by the City in the short-medium term, but I’d have to agree it would be nice to have a facility along the same style as the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre and it would suit our vision for the new Rockingham Tourism Strategy. So who knows what the future may hold on that front.