Offenders on the loose without being monitored

West Australians were left in the dark when dozens of offenders, some with serious convictions including dangerous sex offences, were unable to be tracked following a telecommunications outage.

Shadow Minister for Corrective Services Zak Kirkup said it was incomprehensible the Government did not alert the community to the dangers posed by offenders able to roam the community without being able to be tracked.

“If there is a telecommunications outage and offenders cannot be tracked, the community needs to be made aware,” Mr Kirkup said.

“Last night in Parliament it was revealed 81 offenders with trackable ankle bracelets had been disconnected from monitoring as a result of the outage.

“The first the community has heard of this is through questioning in Parliament.

“The question must be asked, why did it take questioning in Parliament for this information to be made public?  Why didn’t the Minister bring this to the attention of the public at the height of the risk of these offenders being in public without being able to be monitored.”

Mr Kirkup said the Government needed to assure the public they would not be kept in the dark if there was a similar telecommunications blackout in the future in which offenders were unable to be tracked.

“It is the responsibility of the Minister for Corrective Services to be open and transparent about these very serious and concerning security issues,” Mr Kirkup said.

“He would have received a briefing that the Department had lost track of the offenders as a result of the outage, and he should have insisted on warning the public that this had occurred.

“His failure to do this smacks of a cover up.  I am concerned he may not have wanted the public to know that offenders were out in the public and not being tracked.

“This has only come to light through questioning in Parliament and it would not be surprising if the Government was hoping the questions would not be asked and this incident had not come to light.

“It is now incumbent on the Minister to insist his Department develop a communications protocol to alert the public whenever there is an incident in which tracked offenders are unable to have their movements monitored.

“The public needs to be assured they are protected from these offenders.  This is the Minister’s responsibility and he needs to take action now that this incident, and the potential for further such incidents, has been exposed.”

Community Called to Assist with Murray River Square and Foreshore Redevelopment

Public feedback could help revolutionise the Murray River Square and adjacent foreshore reserve, into a well-planned, well-utilised community amenity.

The Shire of Murray has recently appointed landscape consultants, EPCAD, to assist with the progression of the design for the study area.

According to Chief Executive Officer Mr. Dean Unsworth, three sketch options have been released and the Shire are seeking community comment regarding a preferred design.

Among other components, planning could see the town square redeveloped to achieve views to the river from George Street and James Street and an informal grassed terraced amphitheatre and stage area, upgraded streetscaping, a canoe entry and exit point and improved picnic and BBQ facilities established along the foreshore.  

Mr. Unsworth said following community feedback it is intended that a preferred option which may involve components from one or more of the sketch options, would then be chosen to develop a full concept design.

To view the sketches and submit feedback, community members are encouraged to visit the Shire’s website murray.wa.gov.au or call into the Shire’s Administration Office at 1915 Pinjarra Road, Pinjarra during office hours.

Submissions should be addressed to the Chief Executive Officer, Shire of Murray, PO Box 21, Pinjarra WA 6208. Emailed submissions should be sent to mailbag@murray.wa.gov.au.

A drop-in information session will also be held at the Pinjarra Civic Centre on Monday 21 May from 3:00pm to 5:00pm. The sketches will be on display and Shire officers will be available for discussion and to answer questions.

Concept development follows Council’s adoption in 2015 of a masterplan for the Murray River Foreshore in Pinjarra, between the Henry Street boat ramp and the Murray Leisure Centre. 

“The masterplan was prepared with extensive consultation with the community and was intended to provide a high level framework to guide future action within the foreshore area,” Mr. Unsworth said.

Submissions close 12:00pm Friday 1 June, 2018.

 Murray River Site plan - perspective and images - Option A

Murray River Site plan - perspective and images - Option A

 Murray River Site plan - perspective and images - Option B

Murray River Site plan - perspective and images - Option B

 Murray River Site plan - perspective and images - Option C

Murray River Site plan - perspective and images - Option C

Mandurah Pirates Rugby Club

If you're interested in learning more or getting involved in the local Rugby Union scene, take a look at the Mandurah Pirates Rugby Union Club.

It is a club founded on core community values to develop the region's sporting youth. The Club prides itself on providing a friendly, supportive environment to promote the participation and potential of rugby players within the Peel region.

Community invited to have say on Mandurah’s city centre waterfront

The community is being asked to help shape the future of Mandurah’s city centre as the City of Mandurah kicks off the next phase of making it a reality.

The recent completion of the Eastern Foreshore’s seawall, extended grassed area and path connections, and the Mandurah Bridge Replacement, now paves the way for the community to shape the re-energisation of the city centre’s waterfront areas.

Community members and stakeholders will play an important role in identifying and developing upgrade priorities for the city centre waterfront.

The City is asking the community to guide the vision by sharing their thoughts about what people love about the areas now, and suggestions on what they want to see in these areas.

To assist with shaping the vision, the foreshore areas have been divided into zones, each with unique existing character, activities and opportunities that the community can have their say on until May 18.

Mayor Rhys Williams has shared his passion for Mandurah’s city centre since being elected in October and said the local community played an important role in ensuring a strong and re-energised future for Mandurah.

“Mandurah is such a special place and this really is an exciting time of growth for our community,” hesaid.

“It’s important that we continue on this journey together, to ensure we have a culturally enriched, vibrant city that people want to be part of, to ensure our economy is strong and that people have jobs, and that visitors want to come and see what we have to offer.

“So now is the time to have your say – help shape our story to ensure a strong and re-energised future for Mandurah.”

The final output of this consultation will be Mandurah waterfront designs that incorporate the community’s input while taking into consideration land use, built and natural form, environment and movement.

A Community Reference Group will also be established to engage the community and capture input from diverse groups, ensuring that the vision, aspirations and objectives expressed are representative of community views.

For more information or to nominate for the Community Reference Group go to haveyoursaymandurah.com.au

 City of Mandurah Councillors Matt Rogers, Tahlia Jones, Lynn Rodgers, Merv Darcy, Mayor Rhys Williams, Deputy Mayor Caroline Knight, Peter Rogers and Hon. Fred Riebeling are encouraging the community to have a say on Mandurah’s city centre waterfront revitalisation.

City of Mandurah Councillors Matt Rogers, Tahlia Jones, Lynn Rodgers, Merv Darcy, Mayor Rhys Williams, Deputy Mayor Caroline Knight, Peter Rogers and Hon. Fred Riebeling are encouraging the community to have a say on Mandurah’s city centre waterfront revitalisation.

Mandurah Junior Council holds elections

What: Photo opportunity for Mandurah Junior Council Elections

When: Tomorrow, Thursday, April 11 at 9.00am-11.30am (Junior Mayor and Deputy Junior Mayor announcement and photo opportunity estimated between 10.50am-11.30am following proceedings)

Where: Council Chambers, entrance off 83 Mandurah Terrace, Mandurah

Contact person: Kellie Revett or Holly Sutton, Media and Public Relations Consultants on 9550 3727 or 0417 506 995.

The Mandurah Junior Council elections will be held tomorrow in the Council Chambers.

The 38 Junior Councillors, from the 19 local primary schools, will cast their votes for Junior Mayor and Deputy Junior Mayor. 18 nominations have been received for the Junior Mayor position, and 18 for Deputy Junior Mayor, with each nominee having the chance to speak about why they should be elected.

The Junior Mayor and Deputy Junior Mayor will serve for 12 months.

Following the elections, morning tea will be served and photo opportunities will be available with the Mayor and Councillors also in attendance.

Please advise of your availability and interest to attend.

Mandurah Bridge light show a must-see for community picnic goers

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The new Mandurah Bridge will be lit up in spectacular fashion this Sunday, April 8, during the Mandurah Bridge Celebration Picnic, which kicks off at 4.30pm with the lighting of the bridge at 7pm.

The community is invited to join the family friendly picnic event to celebrate the completion of the $53million Mandurah Traffic Bridge Replacement project.

The free event will be held on Mandurah’s Eastern Foreshore from 4.30pm - 7.30pm, and is a celebration of the significant community-guided project.

There will be fun for everyone including an impressive coloured light show on the bridge, twilight market stalls, live music, pony rides and children’s activities.

Stories and pictures that celebrate Mandurah’s rich social history will also be incorporated into the celebration with an exhibition at the Mandurah Community Museum and guided walking tours on offer.

A commemorative plaque will be unveiled by Hon Rita Saffioti MLA Minister for Transport; Planning; Lands, the Minister for Local Government; Heritage; Culture and the Arts, Hon David Templeman MLA and Mandurah Mayor Rhys Williams at 5.30pm.

Free parking will be available on Hall Park.

The Old Mandurah Traffic Bridge Replacement project is a joint project led by the State Government (Main Roads WA and Royalties for Regions) with support from the City of Mandurah.

Local sport and recreation improvements get Council go-ahead

Improved opportunities to participate in sport and recreation, and enhancements to community facilities, were given the green light at the City of Mandurah Council meeting last night.

The South Mandurah Football Club, Dudley Park Bowling Club, and South Mandurah Tennis Club were all approved for the latest round of the 2018/19 Community Sport and Recreation Facility Fund (CSRFF) Small Grants.

The Fund is a Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries - Sport and Recreation program that provides financial assistance to community groups and local government authorities to develop basic infrastructure for sport and recreation.

The grants aim to increase participation in sport and recreation, with an emphasis on physical activity through development of sustainable, good quality, well designed and well utilised facilities. The application process for submissions involve Local Governments undertaking an initial assessment to ensure proposed projects are well planned, prioritised and positively benefit the community.

The South Mandurah Football Club will put its grant towards the construction of change room facilities at its Falcon headquarters. The Dudley Park Bowling Club will use its funding to resurface a green, and the South Mandurah Tennis Club in Falcon will use the money to resurface courts.

Another report to Council acknowledged that in recent years there has been significant growth throughout Australia in the participation of women’s sport. This has been largely driven by the success of Australia’s national women’s teams and the formation of new national elite competitions.

This growth is now starting to occur in Mandurah, with a number of women’s competitions already in place and many state sporting associations planning to launch new formats as early as 2018/19.

As the primary provider of infrastructure for local sport, this presents a challenge for the City, with a number of change room facilities having been originally designed to solely meet the needs of male participants. The City has identified gaps in some of its existing amenities.

Council supported City officers to look at implementing a staged refurbishment of its change room areas over the coming years. This would initially prioritise the upgrade of the City’s older existing amenities to facilitate female participants, with the long-term objective being for all change room facilities to be unisex in their design and function.

Mayor Rhys Williams said it was great to see these two items on the Council agenda providing an opportunity to support sport and recreation in the community.

“Our community shares a great love of sport and healthy, active lifestyles and the City plays an important role in helping this grow. It’s vital that our facilities and services continue to meet the needs of our growing community,” he said

Teens to Rally for Street Chillz Event

Murray locals prepping for the big day.jpg

Teens will hit the ramps of Pinjarra Skate Park between 4:00pm and 9:00pm on Saturday 14 April for the 2018 Street Chillz Drug Aware Youth Fest.

Major event drawcard the Freestyle Now Skate, Scooter and BMX competition, returns in 2018 for round four of the Freestyle Now Western Australian Skatepark Series.

Skate, scooter and BMX enthusiasts can enter into beginner, intermediate or open class categories.

Registrations are essential and can be completed online at freestylenow.net/coming-events or from 3:00pm on event day. Helmets are also essential.

According to Shire President Cr. David Bolt, the competition offers a platform for local youth to demonstrate and be recognised for their skills, and is a great opportunity for the Shire to entice young people from outside the region, to experience the wonders of Murray.

The Street Chillz Drug Aware Youth Fest will also feature a virtual reality tent, skateboard design workshop, POSCA art activities, youth service displays and a variety of food trucks.

For the budding artist, creatives from Graphite Crew will host an Urban Street Art Sesh workshop, coaching attendees through the production of intricate aerosol designs.

“The event encourages teamwork, sportsmanship and perseverance and is a productive outlet for popular youth pastimes,” Cr. Bolt said.

According to Kaitie Worthington, chairperson of the myVoice Youth Reference Group, the popular youth event will not disappoint.

Front L to R - Keiva, Milla, Mitchell, Tate Back L to R - Jaxon, Lucas, ....jpg

The Street Chillz Drug Aware Youth Fest is an official event of the 2018 Youth Week and is a smoke, alcohol and drug free event.

For further information contact the Shire of Murray’s Community Development Officer (Youth) on (08) 9531 7777 or visit www.streetchillz.com.au.

The Street Chillz Drug Aware Youth Fest is proudly supported by Country Arts WA and Healthway promoting the Drug Aware message, Department of Local Government and Communities, Alcoa and the Shire of Murray.

When the government brags about creating jobs

Metronet banner.jpg

A few weeks ago I stumbled across a weird political stunt which ended up backfiring on the Labor party in WA. They set up a fake Twitter account that looked like it was run by state opposition leader Mike Nahan, and linked to a "Meet Mike" url, which was loaded with Labor's own propaganda. 

However, what made me take umbrage was the argument made by Labor that Nahan wanted to destroy 10,000 jobs by cancelling Metronet. The implication here is that the government spending actually creates jobs. 

What gets completely lost on these folks with their misdirected sense of self importance is that in order to create these 10,000 jobs they had to destroy at least that many jobs already. 

How? you ask. 

Taxes.

The government doesn't create wealth except through taking it from me and you. And when they take my money, I can't afford to pay someone to mow my lawns, fix my car, or build me a new computer.

Every time I go shopping, one eleventh of the bill goes straight to the government, (GST), reducing my ability to do as much shopping as I otherwise would like. 

Because I have to pay so much tax I can't afford to employ more people in my business. I can't afford to invest in new projects. I can't afford to go on a holiday in WA with my family. 

The nerve of politicians bragging about "creating jobs" with the very money they just took from me under threat of violence is galling.

If Metronet, or any other public spending project, warrants the investment, then fine... argue the case for its existence. 

But don't pretend you're "creating jobs" when the very people who are funding those jobs, had they not had to pay such high amounts of rates, rego, stamp duty, income tax, GST, and more... would have created the same number of, if not more, jobs in our economy. And we would be creating the jobs that the market actually demanded. 

Building infrastructure just because you think you're "creating jobs" is how we get left with school facilities that aren't needed, roads that no-one uses, and overpasses that are just expensive ornaments. If people had kept their money and spent it on what they personally thought was good value, jobs that were actually wanted might have been created. 

The next time your local parliamentary member starts bragging to you about all the jobs they create, remind them of all the jobs they destroyed in the process by taxing you so heavily. 

Mental Health, the State Government and Cigars

fellowship and cigars.jpg

One of the state government's, indeed, every level of government, biggest problems right now is mental health in our community, especially with men. Suicide rates are at ridiculously high levels. I barely know someone who hasn't been affected by a suicide in their family. Antidepressants are being handed out like butter menthols and they don't seem to be helping long term. And nothing government tries seems to be getting to the heart of the problem. 

I'm not going to claim I'm a big depression sufferer. It certainly exists in my family, but I've done as well as most people I know in navigating the trials and sufferings of my life thus far. That's not to say I haven't stared into the abyss more than once and wondered what to do. 

But a few years ago I came upon a very unlikely saviour in terms of helping me fill a deep, unmet need. That was cigars. 

I had always been curious as to what was involved in smoking a cigar. My religious upbringing had made sure I knew how evil cigarettes were, and thus it was assumed cigars were just supercharged cigarettes. 

But despite that, in my mind cigars were not like cigarettes at all. You didn't light up a cigar at the back of the office quickly and puff it down to get a nicotine fix. You sat down and took your time and enjoyed it. 

So one day I eventually jumped on YouTube, did some research on cigars, and went out and bought my first cigar. 

I sat out the front of my house overlooking the park, cut it, and lit it. As I enjoyed my first cigar, actually half a cigar because I couldn't get through the whole thing, I thought about the week, I thought about life, I thought about the future. 

I finished and went inside. Calm. Meditative. Peaceful. And quite pleased. 

I had another cigar a few weeks after that when I felt like one. I noticed I never craved a cigar though. They didn't appear to be addictive like a cigarette. To me they were more like a nice massage. Pleasurable, but ultimately not needed. 

After a couple of months I caught up with a good friend. I hadn't seen him very much in the previous few years despite him being one of my closest friends. I told him about my discovery of cigars, and we resolved to have one together. And we did. We managed to find a store that sold them, bought a couple, and went back to his place and smoked them. 

Smoking a cigar can take half an hour or longer. You don't smash it back like a cigarette. You take your time, have a break, and talk with those in your company. 

And that's what my friend and I did. We talked for hours and thoroughly enjoyed our cigars. 

So the next thing on our to do list was to let some other close friends of ours know about the great time we had smoking a cigar. They were delighted to try them with us. 

So we organised a specific meeting to get together, all the men, and enjoy each other's company and some fine cigars. 

And we all enjoyed it so much we started doing it regularly. Even now, a few years on, we look forward to getting together, enjoying a cigar, and some great fellowship. 

You see, the cigar was not just a lump of tobacco. It was an excuse to meet up with other men and spend some much needing time talking. 

The thing about us men is we're never going to call each other up and say "Hey, I'm really struggling at home with work, the wife, and the kids. I need a deep hearted talk with my friends to get some stuff off my chest and solicit some advice." 

But what we WILL do is suggest meeting up for a cigar, and then the other thing happens naturally. 

Enter Devlin's. 

Sometimes you need a place to go and enjoy that fellowship with your peers that just doesn't work at home. Because of current laws, it's challenging even to find a restaurant or bar where you can find a suitable place to enjoy a cigar. And even when you do, they're usually so noisy you can't really talk properly anyway. 

But there's a magical little place in Subiaco where men (and women) can gather and enjoy a cigar. There are cigars for sale, and a great range on display. It's a place of friendship and great company. It's also a great place to meet new people. One of my friends is a member and has invited us there on plenty of occasions.

I've never met the owner, but if I did, I would tell him this:

What you've created is more than just a fine cigar establishment. It's a place where men can go and flush away the troubles of the world.

No man, having spent a great evening in the company of friends and enjoyed a cigar, would feel he has nothing to live for and head home to do something his family would regret. Devlin's is better than therapy. It's better than medication. It meets a core human need that is all too lacking in our crazy, modern lifestyle. 

But this week I learned it's under threat. 

Legislation sits before state parliament that proposes to amend the Tobacco Products Control Act yet again, making it so that tobacco products will not be able to be displayed in any retail store, this means cigars will need to be away from view in locked boxes and may only be seen after they have been purchased. Here's a link. The change would essentially shut Devlin's down and cost the jobs of the dozen or so folks who work there. If you wanted a fine cigar, you'd have to buy them from overseas online, sending yet more jobs offshore. 

Now look, I understand why the cultural shift regarding tobacco needed to happen. For too long immoral cigarette manufacturers essentially lied to the public and targeted children with their wares. 

But overreacting to that issue will cause other second order problems that are not immediately evident on the surface. I'm sure there are those in parliament that want to live in a world where tobacco, sugar, and refined grains are illegal. 

But I don't want to live in a world where the government fights against the very thing that so many men I know have chosen as their way to enjoy a fraction of their precious downtime. 

Cigars are not a pastime of children. They cost too much for starters. People who choose to indulge in them usually have one on occasion, not 6 a day. In terms of their effect on the public health sector, I dare say a certain golden arch company has more to answer for than cigars ever will. 

Cigars remain a fantastic excuse to get together with my fellow men, share our thoughts and problems, and we emerge stronger and better equipped to go out and contribute positively in our communities and families. 

I implore members of state parliament to consider this when dealing with the legislation currently before parliament.

Nannup Walk Trail

A ceremony was held recently to note the renaming of the Joseph and Dulcie Nannup walk trail in Mandurah, and the construction of a new boardwalk.

The walk trail runs (with a couple of different routes) along the Serpentine River from Goegrup Lake to the Pinjarra Road bridge. Accessible to most abilities with concrete, bitumen or compacted gravel level surfaces along the route. Make sure you pay a visit.

5 tips for getting a job in Mandurah

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There's a lot of misunderstanding around how hard it is to get a job in Mandurah. Sure, certain types of companies don't set up shop here, you'll have to commute to Perth. 

But I hear from business owners a fair bit about how hard it is to find suitable people willing to work hard.

I know these may seem obvious to some, but here's a few pointers for finding work that I wish every young person knew.

1. Fix your Facebook profile. 

It's really cute that you think getting drunk each weekend with your mates is totes amazeballs, but if that's the aspect of your life you present online, there's a slim chance your resume will make it to the top of any pile. Be assured that EVERYONE looks up potential staff on Facebook now. 

Before you apply for that job tomorrow, go to your Facebook account and head to settings, then select privacy, then select the "limit past posts" options, then press the "Limit Past Posts" button. This will make anything you've posted on Facebook only visible to your friends. 

You still may want to spend some time cleaning up your profile pic (that picture of you with a bong probs isn't the best choice), and also hide or delete past profile and cover photos. They're public unless you choose otherwise in settings.

2. Know in your heart you're going to be rejected 99% of the time. 

Don't apply for a job with high expectations in your head. The disappointment and rejection will make you depressed and you'll give up after a week. Make peace in your heart with the fact that 99% of the businesses you apply at will not want to hire you. That doesn't mean you shouldn't put your best foot forward. It just means you have stared the cold, hard reality of life in the face, grabbed it by the throat, and wrestled it to the ground. 

No-one in the private sector gives a damn about your feelings. They don't care that you NEED a job. Customers don't come to their stores because the stores NEED customers. That's not how the world works and anyone who told you otherwise lied to you. 

You will only be hired if it's clear you will make more money for the company that what you will cost them. End of story. 

So apply for everything. And be at peace with all the rejections before they happen. And when they happen, accept them, know you're one step closer to a great job, and keep going. 

3. At least do some volunteer work. 

Do you know who businesses like hiring the most? People who already have jobs. They have demonstrated they're hard workers, they have commitment, and they know what to do. Training someone who has no experience is the most painful thing in the world for a small or medium business owner. 

And if your resume points out that you either don't have a job, or haven't worked for the last 6 months, an employer is simply going to wonder, rightly or wrongly, what's wrong with you?

Many times they'll guess you either lack a good work ethic, or maybe other employers know something about you that makes you unsuitable. 

But there is a way around this conundrum. 

Volunteer. 

Go and work at a charity, a soup kitchen, a not for profit, a local business... anything. If you're not applying for jobs, volunteering beats sitting on the playstation. First, you'll feel good about yourself and develop your self worth. You'll be contributing to the community and it will mean a lot to someone who you help. Second, it will look great on your resume. The fact that despite not having someone to tell you what to do you went and took some initiative and found a way to gain experience, speaks volumes to an employer. 

4. Be aware of basic body language and learn some manners. 

I get it. You think you're an introvert and you were raised on Instagram and talking to people in the real world is icky. Well, that may be true but you'll need to learn a few skills, become a professional gamer, or stay on the dole.

You need to learn how to do a firm handshake. A proper handshake tells people you know what you're doing and are competent. 

You need to look people in the eye and speak clearly. If you can't look an employer in the eye and hold a coherent conversation, how can they expect you to function around your colleagues or clients?

5. Apply for jobs that aren't advertised. 

Is there a business you think you could or would like to work at? Go and see them. Take a resume. Often times business owners are too swamped to even get the job vacancy they need filled posted online, and they'll grab whoever is around at the time.

Keep applying for the advertised positions too of course. 


Bonus tip. Keep an eye on the Job Vacancies section on this website. Local businesses can post positions here for free. Link


I get that it's hard looking for a job. Each rejection feels like a thousand blows to your gut and the risk of rejection is enough for the mind to create a lot of excuses as to why you have better things to do than look for work. 

But it's up to you. It's not the tax payer's job to hold your hand and pay for your Xbox Live subscription while you should be out looking for work. Plenty of local business owners have amazing stories of starting with nothing, working hard, and ending up owning and running their own, profitable companies. 

You can join their ranks if you want. It's hard work. But it can be done. 

Cleaning up Murray

Murray’s natural landscape continues to shine this week following several Clean Up Australia Day events made possible through exceptional volunteer efforts.

2018 initiatives kicked off in Murray with the Shire’s event on Friday 2 March.

 Volunteers retrieved a total of ten shopping trollies from the Murray River © Josh Cowling

Volunteers retrieved a total of ten shopping trollies from the Murray River © Josh Cowling

Volunteers fished ten shopping trollies, a push bike and a swivel chair out of the Murray River from the iconic swing bridge and filled thirty waste bags with rubbish collected from Cantwell Park.

A further four events took place across the weekend which saw Mandurah Environment and Heritage Group successfully facilitate its fifteenth consecutive Clean Up Australia Day event.

 Exceptional volunteer efforts made for a successful 2018 Clean Up Australia Day event © Josh Cowling

Exceptional volunteer efforts made for a successful 2018 Clean Up Australia Day event © Josh Cowling

Efforts concentrated on the removal of rubbish from the Murray and Serpentine Rivers, Delta Islands and local foreshores.

Remarkably over 2 tonnes of waste was removed from the waterways and surrounding areas, covering a total of 8km2.

The local waterways clean up forms part of the Clean Up the Peel Waterways program – a Friends of the Rivers Peel initiative, and is supported by Alcoa and the Shire of Murray.

The Shire also supported clean up efforts facilitated by the Ravenswood Community Group, the Pinjarra Girl Guides and a community driven initiative in North Dandalup.

“Trash and illegal dumping have proven detrimental impacts on the environment and the ability to compromise valuable Shire assets.

“This year’s Clean Up Australia Day efforts are exemplary of the feats that can be achieved when residents unite in the fight against trash.

“The Shire of Murray commends organisers and volunteers for their willingness to give up their time to clean up and conserve our district and encourage the wider population to do their bit to keep the Shire litter free,” said Cr. Bolt.

 A push bike retrieved from the Murray River © Josh Cowling

A push bike retrieved from the Murray River © Josh Cowling

Another cool park we've found in Mandurah

When you have energetic kids that need to burn off steam and live in a typical suburb with a backyard the size of a matchbox, one of the best things you can find is a great park to take the kids to. 

We have a bunch of favourites, as we're spoiled for choice in Mandurah. And my wife messaged me last week saying she found another she and the kids loved. 

Check this map for it's location, and there's a handful of photos below too. 

 

Quick rundown:

  • Bike paths
  • Dogs on leads allowed
  • BBQ
  • Tables and seats
  • Very shady due to all the trees
  • Lots of playground equipment
  • Lots of grassed areas for picnics or a game of cricket 
  • Great for hide and seek for the bigger kids
  • No toilets or water fountains. 

Shark barriers and social media ranting

In my 5 years of running an online media publisher, I can tell you there are 2 types of stories that get more clicks than any others.

The first is prison escapes.

The second is shark attacks or shark sitings. 

The City of Mandurah have said they're inviting the community to have their say on the proposed Falcon Bay beach enclosure that aims to keep sharks out of a designated area for swimmers. 

Now of course, the community can technically have their say on EVERY issue before the council. But every now and then a super contentious matter comes before council's desk, and it doesn't matter what decision they make, a lot of people are going to be very angry. 

This is one of those matters. 

On one hand, you have the fact that sharks kill people, and people like to swim at the beach. If council doesn't install a shark barrier and there's another attack, they look like they had the chance to do something and didn't. 

On the other hand, you have a lot of very vocal locals who like saying things like "sharks live in the ocean" and other clever one liners that they assume puts the matter to rest. They claim it's a waste of money and their opinion has as much weight as anyone's. 

One of the main points people against the barrier are making is that sharks live in the ocean so we enter at our own risk. But I honestly don't follow that logic. With that same thinking Africans shouldn't erect fences to keep out lions because lions live on land so it's their home. 

We have no problem displacing land animals even here in Australia in the name of comfort, safety, or personal preference. When was the last time you saw someone declare on social media that someone shouldn't erect a snake proof fence because snakes live on land so enter your backyard at your own risk?

That would be absurd. Yet the exact same thing is declared re sharks all the time. 

I've never personally had a friend or family member attacked by a shark. And I don't suffer from a phobia of swimming in the ocean out of a fear of sharks.

But I recognise others might. So fencing off a minuscule percentage of the ocean so humans can swim with the comfort of knowing that they won't be on the front page of the West Australian as the latest shark story victim makes at least a little sense. 

Another strong argument I've read online regarding this particular shark barrier is that the exact spot where it's being proposed has not experienced a shark attack. I'm of the opinion that this misses the entire point. 

Tax payers can't honestly be expected to fund a barrier at every single potential attack site, all we can reasonably be expected to do is give swimmers a couple of options so they can make a decision that's right for themselves. I don't have an opinion on where the best place is to place it, but as long as people have an option, even if they choose to swim elsewhere, at least the community has given people the choice. 

There are some reasonable concerns regarding the barrier, like how much marine life will be harmed by the barrier itself. However, it's worth keeping in mind the proposed barrier is not a net, but a rigid structure. From the City of Mandurah: 

As with all government spending though, the devil is in the details. Exactly how much the barrier will keep costing us each year in maintenance, vs the effect on tourism, and the likelihood of a fatality being prevented, is very hard to measure. There will never be a news story declaring that there wasn't a shark attack in Mandurah this week, and even if there was, you wouldn't click on it. Most divers and surfers are still going to swim elsewhere and be at (a very small) risk of shark attack. And those shark attack stories will keep making front page news.

So even if the community does decide to install the barrier, we need to have a clear headed response on how we respond to media coverage of future attacks outside the barrier. Ratepayers certainly can't be expected to provide a perfectly safe world to swimmers. But if a barrier makes Mandurah a little more desirable to a bunch of folks, I would support an environmentally friendly barrier. 


The State Government is potentially chipping in $200,000 to help pay for a 265m shark barrier that would be installed in an "L-shape" encompassing the swimming pontoon in Falcon Bay.

A community information session will be held at 6pm on March 7 to discuss the matter at the Falcon Pavilion, located at 27 Lynda Street, Falcon.

For more information or to register to attend the session go to haveyoursaymandurah.com.au.

Giving to beggars on the streets of Mandurah

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Around half of the time when I head to Woolworths in the middle of Mandurah there will be a person sitting out the front, sometimes with a sign, sometimes without, asking for money. I watch as I see others put coins in their pile, or hand them food. They look humble and grateful at the giver and say thank you. 

I used to be one of the people that handed out money to these folk. I was taught since I was born to help those in need, so it made complete sense to me. 

But after a while I began observing what some of these people did after they had collected a good handful of coins. And I'm sorry to report that it wasn't purchase food. 

In hindsight this was obvious. But my naiveté and deluded self identity as a generous person blinded me. 


Not too long ago at Meadow Springs Shopping Centre a young man asked myself and my young children if we could spare some money as he needed funds for a bus fair home. I immediately thought the worse and believed he wanted money to buy something that wasn't a bus ticket. 

But I was in a dilemma. You see, I also want to teach my kids to help those in need, just like my parents taught me. If I refuse this guy they will internalise that lesson, and that's not what I want. If I give this kid money, he's off to get drugs and he'll be back tomorrow repeating the practice on the next sucker. 

Morals aren't as black and white as I was taught. 

So I offered to drive him to where he wanted to go.

And of course, he refused the ride. I persisted. I nagged him. I insisted that I should drive him to Rockingham because that's where he needed to go according to his own words. He kept declining with weird excuses, and then a store manager came running out and the dude bolted. He hadn't been making many friends that day it seemed. 


This week I saw several more people asking for money. I spotted a couple near the movies with a cardboard sign that said "homeless, please help". 

I always thought I would always help people like that. But I had grown numb from all the people obviously lying to me just to get drug money, that it took no more than a second for me to decide I was not giving anything to these people. 

Afterwards I was shocked at myself. What has happened to me? Am I really that cold hearted now?

I don't like this new skill I have, of shutting off to people who claim they are in need. But I'm angry at some of these people who are pretending they're struggling to buy food, and then I see them hours later leaning in to cars swapping cash for bags of something small. 


I've given the issue a lot of thought. I don't judge anyone who finds themselves addicted to drugs and alcohol. I don't know their back story. I don't know the abuse they've endured, and a I haven't walked in their shoes. My heart breaks for every person I see with one of those cardboard signs. 

And the truth is I want to be a generous person, teach my kids to be generous, but I don't want to fund drug addictions.

So I asked myself what I would do if someone I loved more than anything in the world was addicted to drugs but asking me for money. What if one of my own sons were in this position?

And the answer is obvious. I wouldn't give them a single cent, I would try and get them to rehab, and I would be absolutely furious at anyone who handed them cash so they could keep destroying themselves.