Council Meeting Recaps - OCM (22 May 2024)

Published on Monday, 27 May 2024 at 2:00:00 PM



Hello, I’m Vivienne MacCarthy, President of the Shire of Donnybrook Balingup.

Welcome to this video summary of the Ordinary Council Meeting, held on 22 May 2024. You can access the full video of the meeting and documents by visiting the Shire website.

At the beginning of the meeting, it was my privilege to formally recognise the significant contribution made by our twelve, volunteer bush fire brigades. Much of the meeting this month centred on outcomes from the April Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Bushfire Advisory Committee.


Item 9.1.3 - Endorsement of Nominated FCOs

At their AGM, the Bush Fire Advisory Committee elected Bush Fire Control Officers (FCOs) for the 24-25 year.

These roles are authorised to perform any function relating to the prevention and control of bush fires, including the protection of life and property. FCOs are also authorised to issue Permits to Burn within their Brigade area.

Councillors were asked to endorse the fifteen newly elected FCOs across the Shire’s twelve Brigades and requested the CEO to authorise them to carry out their duties for the 24-25 year.


Item 9.1.4 - Election of BFAC Office Bearers

Another important outcome from the Bush Fire Advisory Committee AGM, was the election of new Committee Members for the 2024-2025 year. Max Walker will continue in the role of Chief Bush Fire Control Officer with Ian Ralph and Bevan Dix as his Deputies. Murray Webb will fill the roles of Communications Officer and Fire Weather Officer.

I would like to acknowledge David Tooke for his years of service as Deputy, and in endorsing the Committee’s recommendation, Councillors extended their appreciation for the enormous contribution made by our firefighting volunteers and Committee Members.


As an aside from the meeting agenda, I will take this opportunity to encourage community members to volunteer as a member of one of our local brigades.

We face increasing risk of fire emergency in a Shire that consists of 48% forest in a drying climate, and the number of volunteer fire fighters is at a record low.

Our local brigades are divided into 12 areas to allow them to quickly respond to fires - and when they do, they bring with them their local knowledge, familiarity and expertise in dealing with local fuel loads and topography which, in most instances, prevents escalation to an emergency event.

However, we desperately need many, many more volunteers within the 12 brigades.

If you have family, animals and property that you would like to help protect, please consider signing up. Mandatory training is offered during Winter months to build the skills needed to keep our community safe during the fire season.

If you would like to find out more about how you can help, please contact your local brigade.

You can contact your local brigade by contacting one of your local FCOs, which you can find on the Shire website in the latest edition of the Firebreak (soon to be called
Fire Prevention) Order, or through their respective social media pages.


Three development applications were considered by Council and approved subject to the conditions and advice set out in the Executive Recommendation.

Item 9.1.7 - DA for Carbon Farming Plantation

One application was supported by a deputation from Woodside Energy Carbon Services Ltd. Woodside purchased grazing land on the Greenbushes-Grimwade Road in Balingup, back in November 2022. They proposed the growth of a carbon farming plantation with the primary output being carbon credit units. Their intention is to seed and plant local, native species to establish a native forest which won’t be harvested and which will be subject to a 100-year permanence period.


Item 9.1.6 - DA for Five Holiday Cabins

A separate application relates to the building of five holiday accommodation cabins at 308 Ryall Road in Brazier.

Three of the cabins are proposed to be accessed from Ryalls Road, with two accessed from Thomas Road. Two cabins will be built initially, with the remaining cabins added later.

Concerns were raised by Councillors and debate followed before the application was approved, subject to conditions and advice. The application will bring important tourism opportunities to the area.


Item 9.2.2 - Monthly Financial Report (April)

The final agenda item for the meeting was the presentation of the April Financial Report.

The report provides a closing surplus was $3.962m, and in line with adjusted budget expectations, this will drop to $124,000 by the end of June 2024. At this point, project and grant funding is rolled forward into the 24-25 year for projects yet to be completed.


Thank you for listening to this summary – the next Ordinary Council Meeting will be held on 26 June at the Council Chamber in Donnybrook at 5pm, with an Agenda Briefing the week before.



If you would like more information on any of the items mentioned here, please view the Council Meeting Minutes.

View our Fire & Emergency Services page

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