Archive for Newsletter

Statement by West Australian Local Government Association (WALGA)

Recent media reports on WALGA’s template policy outlining communications responsibilities in Local Government incorrectly claim that through this policy, the Association is seeking to censor or restrict the free speech of Elected Members.

The template policy was drafted at the direction of State Council, following increasing concerns from Members around the growing use and influence of social media. These concerns included Elected Members’ private social media interactions as well as the actions of both Elected Members and staff on Local Government social media pages.

As a template policy, this forms the starting point for Members that wish to implement their own policy, with possible considerations and suggested wording for inclusion. There is no requirement for a Local Government to implement the template policy as provided, or to even adopt a policy of this nature should they think it not necessary.

The Policy highlights a number of already existing responsibilities for Elected Members drawn from current legislation and regulations including the Local Government Act, the Rules of Conduct Regulations and Councils’ individual Local Laws for their Meeting Procedures. These responsibilities remain regardless of whether a policy is adopted by an individual Local Government.

The Policy provides no intention to censor or restrict freedom of speech, but rather seeks to draw attention to the existing commitments and responsibilities of Elected Members and provides guidance for ensuring they do not inadvertently break them.


President’s Road Safety Message

As 2018 comes to an end I would like to thank all the wonderful residents in our Shire for their valued contribution to the community over the year.

I would like to take this opportunity to support the Road Ribbon for Road Safety campaign and ask everyone that they take extra care on the roads, after a number of fatalities in the past few months we want to make sure everyone arrives safely to enjoy Christmas with their family and friends.

The campaign message is strong: We should not accept that anyone should die or be seriously injured on our roads: Zero is achievable.

The traffic levels can be unpredictable at this time of year, so allow extra time, especially if you’re travelling on the day or just before Christmas Day.

As people head to their holiday destinations there may be more caravans and trailers on the road so remain extra vigilant. Remember not to drive tired, as this time of year can be overwhelmingly busy, ensure that you take appropriate rest breaks and take advantage of the rest stops along the way.

The Shire is giving away Road Safety Ribbons at the Shire office, if you would like one to support the campaign come into the office during business hours.

Find out more about the Road Wise Campaign.

Enjoy the festive season, take care on the roads and enjoy the ride.

Capel Shire Council President

Murray Scott

Line Marking – Car Bays

On Wednesday, December 19 the carpark next to the Capel Community will be closed due to car bay line marking.

The carpark will be closed from 5pm Tuesday, December 18.

There will also be line marking taking place on the main street in Capel early in the morning on Wednesday, December 19.

Traffic management will be in place for both projects.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your understanding.

Food Safety at Christmas

The Shire of Capel Environmental Health Team provided some information on food safety ahead of the festive season at the Capel Christmas markets at the weekend.

As the weather warms up and we conduct more food preparations for Christmas, the team is raising awareness of food safety and the risks associated with poor food handling.

Principal Environmental Health Officer Mark Chadwick said recent Salmonella outbreaks have resulted in a focus on raw egg products.

Residents are urged to source eggs that are clean and free from cracks, store in refrigeration and wash hands after touching the shell, particularly when preparing raw egg products.

Tips for avoiding food poisoning.

Read the most recent article about avoiding Listeria risk at Christmas.

The Shire’s Environmental Health team regularly inspect food businesses and can provide further information regarding food safety.

If you have any questions please contact the Shire on 9727 0222 to chat with one of the Environmental Health Team officers.

If you are at risk of Listeria infection you need to avoid, or where possible cook, the following foods:

  • Unpackaged ready to eat meats from delicatessen counters and sandwich bars; packaged sliced ready-to-eat meats; cold cooked chicken purchased ready to eat, whole, diced or sliced and refrigerated paté or meat spreads
  • All soft, semi-soft and surface ripened cheeses e.g. brie, camembert, ricotta, feta and blue (pre-packaged and delicatessen), unpasteurised dairy products (e.g. raw milk or cheeses) and soft serve ice cream
  • Pre-prepared or pre-packaged cut fruit and vegetable salads e.g. salads sold in bags or containers or from salad bars, shops or buffets, etc; pre-cut fruit and vegetables that will be eaten raw; frozen fruit or vegetables that may not be further cooked (e.g. berries, peas, sweet corn); rockmelon/cantaloupes (whole or cut); and bean or seed sprouts
  • Raw seafood (e.g. oysters, sashimi or sushi); smoked ready-to-eat seafood; ready-to-eat peeled prawns (cooked) e.g. in prawn cocktails, sandwich fillings; and prawn or seafood salads; and seafood extender.

Also follow these food safety tips to reduce your risk of Listeria infection as well as other forms of food poisoning:

  • Always wash your hands with soap and running water and dry thoroughly before handling food and keep food utensils and cooking areas clean
  • Unlike most other food poisoning bacteria, Listeria can grow at refrigeration temperatures, so ready to eat food or leftovers should never be stored in the fridge for more than 24 hours. Since Listeria grows slowly in the fridge, it will do so only very slowly at cold temperatures so make sure your refrigerator is keeping your food at or less than 5°C.
  • Avoid refrigerated foods that are past their ‘use by’ date
  • Refrigerate leftovers promptly and use or freeze within 24 hours
  • Always look for cooking and storage instructions on the food package label and follow them when provided.
  • Cook high-risk foods such as poultry, minced meat, sausages, hamburgers and leftovers to 75°C
  • Cook egg dishes, such as quiche, to 72°C in the centre (or until the white is firm and the yolk thickens).

Find out more about Listeria and test your knowledge with a food safety quiz on the Food Safety Information Council website.



Capel Shire Revealed as Top Place to Live

In a recent university-led study the Shire of Capel topped the South West for overall quality of life, boosted by favourable perceptions of education, employment, wealth and health.

The South West has been revealed as one of the happiest regions in WA on a quality of life index compiled by researchers and students from Bond University’s Happiness Project.

Statistics were collated from a range of national and local data on housing, health, education, employment, community, wealth, work-life balance, safety and accessibility to determine the ‘happiest’ places in the country.

Capel Shire Council President Murray Scott said he was pleased to hear that the Shire was ranked the happiest place in the South West to live.

“It is attributed to the fantastic lifestyle we have on offer and the natural assets which make it such a great place,” Mr Scott said.

“There are so many great things to do in the Shire and it is a credit to the people who make up our community.”

It revealed jurisdictions in the South West generally compared favourably to the rest of regional WA, though most areas were still ranked below local government areas in Perth.

Margaret River and Busselton were also among the top performers in WA for health and employment, though both lost marks on housing and safety.

The lowest perceptions of quality of life came from the jurisdictions of Collie, Bunbury and Nannup.

Work-life balance was highlighted as a key concern in Collie and Nannup, while Bunbury was rated down on housing and safety.

Much of the data was taken from the 2016 Census and public health data from 2017.