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Mundaring hub one step closer

SHIRE of Mundaring councillors handed down their annual budget this week with a 3.5 per cent rise in rates and a plan for new projects including the next phase of a concept to develop Mundaring town centre into “a vibrant and contemporary space”.

While councillors called the rates hike “responsible” and “considerably below inflation” which sits at 6.1 per cent, it was this year’s Corporate Business Plan that got the elected members talking, with some councillors wavering on the idea of a multipurpose community facility.

Councillor Trish Cook asked for a report on the concept to come before councillors before the Business Plan was signed off, saying she was not “over the line” on the idea.

Previous plans stated the Mundaring Multipurpose Community Facility will contain a library, dedicated cultural and art spaces and large multi-function spaces for the benefit of organisations and the local community.

The Corporate Business Plan ear-marked $860,000 for in-depth planning, design and community engagement of the idea.

“I have concerns,” Cr Jo Cicchini said.

“I am concerned about the expenditure of $860,000 when not everyone is for it.

“I can’t support it from what I’m hearing in the community.”

Two alternative motions to look closer at the projects failed to get off the ground and the Corporate Business Plan was eventually carried 10/2, which also included a commitment to reduce energy emissions over the next four years by converting the Shire’s street lights to LED.

The conversion will result in estimated savings of up to $350,000 per year in electricity costs.

The Shire also allocated an initial sum of $85,000 in the first year, followed by $20,000 per year, towards an environmental reserve fund for future projects to further reduce emissions, protect and enhance the environment and promote green initiatives.

“I am very proud of this Corporate Business Plan and the work we have done,” deputy president Cr McNeil said.

“I understand not everyone is happy with every part of it but don’t let that take the shine off the whole thing.

“We are not always going to get what we want but we do agree by consensus and that is what this is.”

The business plan also included the extension of opening hours at Mt Helena swimming pool for a one-year trial period, as well as a Signage Strategy, Economic Development and Tourism Strategy and a Heritage Strategy.

By Rebecca Peppiatt 

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Echo News gives readers an alternative to other media outlets in WA and enjoys a very high rate of readership in its distribution area. Our Echo News team are a small group of devoted individuals who work hard to give the local community an easy to read, yet intelligent mix of local community stories.

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