Shire of Gingin adds voluntary contribution to rates to combat coastal erosion

Erosion caused by storms has damaged Grace Darling Park in Lancelin.
Erosion caused by storms has damaged Grace Darling Park in Lancelin.

SHIRE of Gingin ratepayers concerned about contributions for erosion, stable fly and weed control included in their rates notices are being told they are voluntary.

The Shire included options for voluntary contributions to combat the effects of coastal erosion as well as stable fly and weeds as part of its 2018-19 budget.

It issued a clarification statement yesterday after receiving questions about the levies, including an optional $25 contribution for a fund to help the Shire pay for emergency work arising from coastal inundation, monitoring and advice.

“Council currently has no financial resources at all to fight this issue,” Shire President Sam Collard said.

“With an increasing amount of infrastructure under threat in certain areas of our coastline, it is imperative we start preparing financially for what may lie ahead.

“We realise that coastal erosion isn’t an issue that directly affects everyone in the Shire, which is why we’ve made the levy voluntary.

“However, we hope that the value of our beautiful coast is recognised and appreciated by the majority of our community members – whether as a place to visit, have a holiday or to live.

“We are extremely grateful for the support of our communities to date and thank everyone in advance for their contributions – they will help us enormously.”

The Shire has amended its voluntary stable fly levy this year to include declared weed control.

Funds raised via this levy pay for a stable fly inspector whose role has been to survey and audit properties with the potential to breed the pest and that role will extend to include identification and control of declared weeds such as narrow leaf cotton bush, African love grass and doublegee.