Market celebrates birthday

THE humble town hall of Kendenup has gone from unused and vacated to a bustling marketplace and Taste Great Southern event point in less than a year, and to say the townspeople are proud of the feat would be an understatement.

Kendenup Town Hall Markets committee member Alice Stephenson explained the market was born from a ‘Save the Hall’ meeting held in April last year.

A selection of the Kendenup community came together and agreed their town hall needed to be used more than once a year for a school function.

Ms Stephenson feared the hall would be neglected and unattractive for future funding if it continued to be so rarely used.

“It’s a really important part of town because there’s not much here – if you’re not involved with sport or bridge or the church, there’s nothing,” she said.

“So, we thought, if we didn’t save it, we’d lose it.”

A dozen stallholders got together and held the very first Kendenup Town Hall Markets in June last year.

It has since doubled in size and seen the likes of Fremantle’s Bread in Common owner and head chef Scott Brannigan wander through the stalls.

“We weren’t expecting a chef!” Ms Stephenson laughed, reflecting on when she alerted Taste Great Southern of their April market this year.

“But it went down really well.”

Plantagenet Shire President Chris Pavlovich commended the Kendenup community on joining forces to breathe life into the town hall once more.

“The markets have certainly created a good sense of community and an optimism for Kendenup’s future,” he said.

“People attending the markets are supporting the local shop and the markets have created an opportunity for local small businesses to market their goods.

“This initiative to bring people to mix and socialise is a positive attribute lost in many urban areas.”

Mr Pavlovich believed that with events such as the markets and a large number of affordable properties in the area, the Kendenup population “should rise expediently over the next decade”.

The next Kendenup Town Hall Markets will be held on June 8 from 9am to 1pm.

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Directory designs

ALBANY Chamber of Commerce and Industry CEO Benita Cattalini has floated the idea of adding a paperless business directory to their services in the future.

Out of the 36 listed regional chambers of commerce and industry, only Broome offers a phone app service for their business directory which Ms Cattalini said would be exciting to incorporate into the ACCI tool belt.

“There are heaps of people that love the paper directory but there are also people that would rather advertise online,” she said.

“The paper directory is like the bible of Albany and one of our biggest income drawcards.

“What we need to look at though is what is the best way to promote businesses in Albany.”

Ms Cattalini said having an online directory would put them in direct competition with Google.

“However having an app would be different,” she said.

“Maybe we need to talk to Albany Gateway to see how they did it? It’s all about targeting the market and supporting our members.”

Ms Cattalini said one of the reasons the ACCI board was slowly exploring options to expand the directory was to cater for tourists and new residents.

“It’s all well and good to have a ‘Buy Local’ sticker on your car, but what about knowing where to buy local?” she said.

“You don’t want to be just driving around aimlessly trying to find local produce when you’re from out of town.

“Having an app where it labels which businesses are locally owned is perfect. And you never delete an app.”

Ms Cattalini said the Chamber was still in the early stages of researching their options but was enthusiastic in starting to “build an online relationship” and remain current.

“Really we’re at the very beginning with it,” she said.

“We need to research it and then put it to our members to see what they think.

“We’re looking at the best way to promote business and our members are the best way to develop those tools.”

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Walking the walk

DESPITE a brisk wind, rain and it being a biting nine degrees outside, students and teachers chose to use their own two legs instead of four wheels to get to school last Friday.

The change of pace was made in honour of Walk Safely to School Day, an annual event encouraging students to build walking into their daily routines and adapt a more active lifestyle.

Flinders Park Primary students Amarah Amson and Kelsey Bingham brought along extra jumpers and gloves for their walk, determined they wouldn’t miss it due to the weather.

Teacher Linda Fielding and education assistant Gayle Harman were in charge of the umbrellas and the quartet departed from the corner of Meananger Crescent and Warlock Road in Bayonet Head at 8am.

They met up with three other students along the way, with a total of five students walking to school from Bayonet Head.

Five other students and a couple of teachers also braved the weather and walked 4km from Lower King.

Ms Fielding acknowledged the wintery weather had probably deterred other students, as she recalled nearly 50 students participating last year.

CEO of event organiser Pedestrian Council of Australia Harold Scruby reminded people about the importance of fitness and the effect it had on general health.

“One in four children in Australia is overweight or obese, and it is expected that numbers will reach one in three by next year,” he said.

“Physical inactivity is a major risk factor for so many chronic diseases that can affect our kids at different stages of their life, including mental illness, heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

“The best exercise for all of us is regular walking.”

Mr Scruby said children require at least 60 minutes “huff and puff” physical activity every day.

“We should encourage them to include walking at the beginning, during and end of each day,” he said.

“If you can’t walk all the way, use public transport and get off the bus, train, tram or ferry a few stops earlier and walk the rest of the way to school.”

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Motorsport park funds

SEVENTEEN hours prior to Racewars organisers announcing the event’s fate was in the hands of its creditors, the State and the City of Albany due to outstanding finances, the City accepted State Government funding to build a motorsports park.

Minister for Sport and Recreation Mick Murray visited the City chambers on Monday to sign an agreement stating the State Government would provide $1.4 million to the City to undertake planning and to acquire a $950,000, 192-hectare site at Down Road South in Drome to develop the proposed Albany Motorsport Park.

The $1.4 million is the first part of the State’s promise to provide $5.75 million for the facility.

The motorsport park’s proposal includes a 3.5km bitumen race circuit, an eighth mile drag strip, a motocross track, clubroom facilities, burnout and drift areas, and allowance for future driver training and other complementary motor activities.

Mr Murray said the facility would “take the need to speed off roads” and make it “far safer for everyone”.

“In today’s world, we have to be a bit more vigilant in what we do on the roads,” he said.

“Some of the people want to use the speed and ride their motorbikes, so it makes it safer for everyone if there’s one area they can go to, to recreate with their vehicles.”

Albany mayor Dennis Wellington was pleased the agreement had been signed and was keen to simply “get on with it”.

He admitted he had never seen such public interest in a council meeting as he did when the motorsport park proposal came up on the agenda last year.

“We had around 450 people turn up to that council meeting who were wildly supportive,” he said.

“It’s the biggest crowd I’ve seen at a council meeting.”

Mr Wellington described the arrangement as “terrific” for Albany and said although the finished product was some time away from completion, it’s “on its way”.

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Funds call for centre

THE Albany branch of cancer support provider Solaris Cancer Care is calling on people to donate funds to it this month as part of its May We Thrive campaign.

Solaris Cancer Care provides a variety of wellness therapies to cancer patients to help ease their stress and anxieties while battling cancer.

The May We Thrive campaign aims to highlight the significance of a service such as Solaris Cancer Care throughout the month of May in the hope to attract funding to maintain its survival.

The non-profit organisation currently receives no ongoing government funding and relies on donations.

Albany residents Jim Bradley and Debbie Davis volunteer their remedial massage and reflexology services to Solaris Cancer Care and hoped people would recognise the vitality of the group’s services and would donate to keep it afloat.

“It can be quite traumatic, going through cancer,” Mr Bradley said.

“The massage and reflexology help the patients relax their muscles and helps their blood flow, which is important because all the good nutrients are in your blood.”

“You can really see the difference in the patient from when they arrive to when they leave,” Ms Davis added.

“It’s a very special thing to be a part of.”

Donations to Solaris Cancer Care can be made by visiting

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Bin changes raised

CITY of Albany residents will have all three of their bins collected fortnightly starting from January and have to redirect their food waste into their garden organics bin, if Council agree to the motion at next week’s meeting.

At a Development and Infrastructure Services Committee meeting last week, the committee unanimously agreed to endorse the recommendation that Council approve the commencement of a kerbside Food Organics Garden Organics (FOGO) service in January to properties receiving a kerbside waste collection.

The committee also agreed to recommend to Council that all three bins – FOGO, commingled recyclables and general waste – be collected fortnightly, with a weekly FOGO collection for eight weeks during December to February to avoid potential odour and pest issues in the warmer months.

Acting Infrastructure and Environment Executive Director for the City Mike Richardson said Council would make the final decision on May 28.

“Albany already has a GO service so ‘going FOGO’ will be a fairly simple change that will allow residents to include food waste in their green waste bins along with their garden prunings,” he said.

“Through FOGO, residents will be given a little kitchen caddy with compostable bin liners they can use to collect food scraps and then dispose the contents into the lime-green lidded green waste bin.”

Mr Richardson said FOGO waste includes meat and bones, bread and pastas, coffee grounds, dirty pizza boxes and tissues, as well as garden waste.

Once FOGO bins are collected, the contents of them would be processed into compost that can be added to soil-improving products.

Mr Richardson reassured residents that they could still use their smaller blue bin.

“The smaller 140-litre red-lidded bin will continue to be used for general waste items that can’t be turned into compost or recycled including nappies, broken glass, old clothes and ropes,” he said.

“With less waste going into this bin under the FOGO system, it will be collected fortnightly.”

If approved by Council, the move to a FOGO system would include providing residents with a kitchen caddy and compostable bin liners for use in their homes, bin stickers and fridge magnets, as well as providing pop-up displays, presentations and advertising across various media.

Mr Richardson acknowledged that 95 per cent of Albany residents who participated in a FOGO trial last year supported the service and that other City surveys conducted last year showed 68 per cent of Albany residents supported diverting food waste from landfill to a composting facility.

He said a FOGO service would alleviate pressure on Albany’s Hanrahan Road dump as it could potentially divert more than 2300 tonnes of food waste from landfill.

The City of Albany Council will make their decision at an ordinary council meeting next week.

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Sinfonia uptopia

ADDING to the musical array of events across the upcoming June long weekend will be Albany Sinfonia’s A Night of Song concert.

The performance will feature various guests alongside the Sinfonia including the likes of Albany soloist Bonnie Staude, Perth-based opera stars James Clayton and Mark Alderson, Albany Senior High School’s musical theatre class and members of the Albany Choral Society.

Sinfonia Artistic Director Neville Talbot said the June 1 show at the Albany Entertainment Centre (AEC) would celebrate all aspects of song and the human voice, with hits from opera, musical theatre and “just good old-fashioned songs”.

“Sinfonia has developed a reputation for excellent and enjoyable concerts over the last few years, and this show will be no exception,” he said.

“We will see the orchestra accompanying solos, duets and big choruses, as well as featuring in some big orchestral numbers from opera such as the Grand March from Aida, and the Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana.”

Mr Talbot said the concert had been timed to link in with the Albany Classic Cars Rally.

“The dates were chosen in partnership with the organisers of the rally to try to widen and enrich the experience of visitors to the town for this huge event,” he said.

“It is hoped that visitors and locals alike will crowd Albany’s spectacular AEC for the event.”

A selection of the concert will then be performed as part of Denmark’s Festival of Voice on June 2.

Festival participants will be invited to a workshop after this performance to sing One Day More from Les Miserables with the A Night of Song cast.

Tickets for the June 1 show at the AEC can be purchased online or via the AEC’s box office and passes for the Denmark Festival of Voice performance can be found at denmarkfestivalofvoice.

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Fishing ban remains

GREENS Pool will continue to be closed to fishers after a motion to disallow the ban in State Parliament’s Legislative Council was defeated 24 to five.

Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party’s Rick Mazza moved to disallow the ban in February citing issues with stakeholder consultation and a lack of due process in accepting a 900-signature petition (‘Claims refuted’, 21 February 2019).

During the debate on the motion Mr Mazza described Greens Pool as a “very, very beautiful part of our state”.

“The community has not been consulted with adequately on the closure,” he said.

“To have a permanent ban at Greens Pool is to deny a sector of the community the ability to also enjoy these surroundings, particularly when a seasonal ban would provide them to use it where there is less activity there.

“The Minister’s fishing lockout is a severe overreaction with no opportunity to provide public input.”

Mr Mazza said the outcome of the unsuccessful vote was disappointing and set a dangerous precedent for all shared use locations throughout the state.

“This decision effectively sanctions the Minister to enact bans on the Western Australian coastline for fishing without relying on valid scientific evidence or thorough community consultation,” he said.

“The Minister has relied on a petition signed by 969 people to assert his decision which is not a reflection of all stakeholders’ interests.”

Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly said Greens Pool attracted in excess of 238,000 visitors each year.

“Given there was a long-running conflict between swimmers and fishers over safety, the increasing value of this location as a tourist draw card and that safe recreational fishing locations are close by, it was decided following consultation with various stakeholder groups to create a swimming-only zone,” he said.

“Greens Pool is the only swimming beach on the south coast where fishing is not permitted.

“The McGowan Government’s common sense decision to create a swimming-only area had bi-partisan support in Parliament, which demonstrates the strong community support for this decision.”

Mr Mazza said he met with a local fisher who regularly used the spot.

“Based on his extensive local knowledge [he] contended [that] Elephant Rocks, Madfish Bay and Waterfall Beach were not safe year-round alternatives to Greens Pool,” he said.

“By voting against my disallowance motion, interested parties such as Recfishwest have been denied a part in how any restrictions or bans in this area are shaped.”

Greens Member for South West Diane Evers, who voted against the motion, described the ban on fishing as “very small and insignificant”.

“The benefit to the community is great and there remain many alternative opportunities available to recreational fishers,” she said.

“Sometimes common sense wins out and in this case I’m delighted this is the outcome.”

Minister Kelly said Greens Pool ranked in the 2018 TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice Awards as the best beach in the Great Southern region.

“Recognising the increasing tourism value of this idyllic ocean pool, the McGowan Government in last week’s budget allocated $2.5 million for the development of visitor facilities in the Greens Pool-Elephant Rocks precinct,” he said.

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Fire service upgrade

TWO 20-year-old fire trucks from the Peaceful Bay and Nornalup Volunteer Bushfire Brigades were replaced with new 3.4 urban tank trucks last week.

The new vehicles have improved safety features, including a comprehensive crew protection system, automatic vehicle location system and a 3000L water tank.

The trucks were provided to the Shire of Denmark by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services via the Emergency Services Levy.

Shire Community Emergency Services Manager Scott Medhurst said the levy was crucial in securing resources to protect the Denmark community and volunteers.

“This funding continues to improve our fleet and equipment and over recent years has strengthened our capacity to respond to fires,” he said.

“The funding also allows us to conduct bushfire mitigation activities such as prescribed and hazard reduction burning to keep communities safe.

“I am hopeful that new and modern firefighting appliances and equipment will be a catalyst for more people to be encouraged to volunteer with the Bush Fire Service.”

The new fire trucks also have 4×4 high clearance, automatic transmission, equipment suitable for firefighting within the Rural Urban Interface, a diesel-powered pump and a dual cab capable of transporting up to six firefighters.

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Churchill victorious

DENMARK nurse Elizabeth Churchill was named Graduate of the Year last week at the WA Nursing and Midwifery Excellence Awards in Perth.

Ms Churchill completed her degree in 2017 and commenced her graduate nurse year in February 2018, working on the surgical ward at Albany Health Campus and at Denmark Hospital.

During this time, Ms Churchill was responsible for shift coordinating, care of acute surgical patients, general patient monitoring and escalation, liaising with the multi-disciplinary team, caring for palliative patients, medication administration, undertaking advanced life support, venepuncture and IV cannulation training.

She created a statewide resource that is now used for discharge planning, described by the award judges as evidence of her “commitment, solution-focused attitude and sheer determination”.

The judges further added that Ms Churchill was “clearly making a real difference” in such a short time and commended her attitude and work ethic.

Ms Churchill said she enjoyed working at Albany Health Campus and Denmark Health Service and in a few weeks, was looking forward to heading to Plantagenet Hospital to experience another site.

“To be recognised this early in my career for doing great work is truly humbling and cements for me that I have definitely chosen the right career path,” she said.

“I learn something new every day and that is one of the reasons I love nursing – there is always knowledge and experience to be gained.

“The staff I work with are amazing and were so helpful, especially in those first couple of weeks while I found my feet as a graduate nurse.”

Executive Director of Nursing and Midwifery at WA Country Health Service Marie Baxter commended Ms Churchill on her win.

“Beth is well-liked by both patients and her peers,” Ms Baxter said.

“She has already accomplished so much, even though she is only at the start of her career.

“I can’t wait to see what she achieves in the coming years.

“We are lucky to have Beth in the Country Health team.”

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