Minutes - Ongerup Community Meeting

Published on Thursday, 16 May 2024 at 3:23:22 PM


Asset Project Manager Chaired the meeting which opened at 5:00pm and outlined the rationale behind the meeting.

  • Sale of 28 Lamont Street,
  • Road Safety issues on Jaekel Street, Ongerup, and
  • General questions from the public

The meeting was then opened to the public for questions and comments.

Questions from the floor (questions and answers have been amended for clarity):

Q: questions or statement from floor of the meeting including the public and councillors.

R: response from the Chair or Executive Manager Assets and Infrastructure.


Q: What's council's plans for use of the funds from the sale?

R: Normally funds from the sale of a building goes into the shire Building Reserve or Council can decide on where the money can be utilised for the benefit of the community.

Q: If we agree to the sale or tender of the building, a large number of the community have requested that a caveat be placed on the sale of the property, so a time frame be put upon the buyer to maintain the building to a certain standard - we would like the new owners to have the building tidied up by a certain time.

R: I believe this is also Council’s concern. When a building is sold the Shire and Council would like the building to be utilised as a private residence or a commercial business as soon as possible. I believe Council has an option for a caveat to be placed upon the property as a condition of sale, so a property is repaired or developed in a timely manner and is not left in a poor condition.

Q: Has the shire carried out an inspection of the property, and do you have a report on the property, as we may have different options?

R: The last report on the building that we have performed was by LGIS the Shire insurance company in September 2022. They stated that the building was in fair condition. As you may be aware, the building has asbestos material in the structure and some timber stumps have sunken, so a bit of work is required. The Shire is not looking at undertaking any renovation work on the building prior to the sale of the building.

Q: What is the Shire zoning for this property, residential or commercial?

R: I am not aware on the zoning for the property but would assume the property is residential. If the new owner wishes to apply for a change of zoning, that will then be considered by Council based on the Planning Officers recommendation. I will confirm the zoning and get back to you on the answer.

Q: When was the last termite inspection on the property?

R: The Shire has arranged for annual termite inspections on all shire properties to be carried out late 2023 or early 2024.

Q: Was any treatment undertaken on the property? R: No treatment was required from the inspection.

Q: The neighbouring property has a large Salmon Gum in the yard that overlooks this property. The neighbours were going to remove it, but the cost was prohibitive. Could the shire assist in its removal, as the tree fills the gutter with leaves?

R: The Shire is currently getting quotations for tree removal and pruning on shire managed properties. If the Shire engages an arborist to undertake this work, we could advise the public of the contractor who may be willing to undertake private work within the area. This may reduce costs to the public, as mobilization is a large part of the cost to undertake this type of work.

Q: Will the tree affect the ongoing maintenance of this building?

R: The shire will not normally get involved in trees overhanging from neighbouring properties. The Shire would normally encourage residents to retain significant trees. But ultimately the decision is the property owners to manage trees on their property.

Statement For the Chair.

The Shire is keen to progress with Councils resolution in April 2023 for the sale of the property. The Shire will keep the community informed as to the progress of the sale of the property. As stated previously, Council has not yet come to a decision as to the form the sale will take – auction, tender process, or Real Estate Agent. The main consideration is that the community of Ongerup and the council be benefitted.

Q: A question regarding the mural at the back of the building. Can a photo be taken of this mural, so as to preserve the history of the building?

R: Yes, this can and will happen, as the Shire normally takes photos of buildings prior to the sale or demolishment of shire owned building for archival records.

Q: Can the memorial at the rear of the property for Jenny Knight be removed and placed at the Ongerup School?

R: Shire to confirm the proposed relocation to the Ongerup School and shire will assist the process where possible.

Q: When will council decide on the sale of the property?

R: Council has indicated that they would like to undertake the sale as early as possible. After this meeting I will raise an agenda item for Council with recommendations to progress the sale of the property. If you have given your contact details on entering the meeting I will send out the minutes and keep you informed on the progress on the sale of the property.

Statement from the Shire President:

Council is aware that this process has taken awhile, and the Ongerup Community is keen to see progress. We normally have a council meeting on the last Wednesday of every month but can hold a Special Council meeting if required.

Statement - Cr Mike Creigh

To support the possible sale by auction to expediate the sale as elaborated by the chairperson previously.




Statement made by Mike Richardson - Executive Manager Assets and Infrastructure.

Council is aware of concerns that some of the community have regarding speed of traffic on Jaekel Street. We are keen to hear from the community on this matter and form a better understanding of the issue relating to traffic calming, as there are several different options. It really needs to be proportional to the problem being addressed. So, we are keen to hear from the audience.

Q: Ninety percent of the traffic speeders are local people. So, it must be put to the community to slow down around the playground.

R: Is that speeding over a certain time of day or different days of the week?

Q: Yes, every day. Mainly between 8am to 6pm. Not sure on the nighttime. Over the year I know a lot of people have commented that when people leave the pub, they ‘flog it’ up Jaekel, Lamont or Eldridge Streets to get to the highway. There has been a reduction in this behaviour.

R: It’s not just the one street.

Q: Jaekel street would be the worst as it is long, and the speed limit is 70km all the way into town. So, people keep doing 70km, and don’t slowdown to 50km.

R: That is interesting to know, as my understanding is, the problem was just in Jaekel Street. And the main issue was the dangers involved when children cross the road from the pub to the playground.

Q: That is an issue and has become much worse since the pub has changed ownership, because it is marketed on being ‘family friendly’. So, there is a mass of kids running to and from across the road especially at twilight, because you are going to dinner. So there is two separate issues.

Q: Is it mainly parental control? Q: It is, but it is still happening.

R: That is very interesting to note. Is it mostly cars using Jaekel St? Q: Yes, mostly cars and utes.

R: That is good to know. For your information, we have had a traffic counter on the road near the playground. I believe the results didn’t come up as bad as we believed.

R: That is correct. The Traffic count report looks like this (holding up report for viewing) with a lot of numbers, and you have to extrapolate what is useful. So in brief of the 90 days, there were 9483 vehicles, which sounds a lot, but when you break it down over 90 days, that is 105 vehicles per day, so if that is the average over a 24 hours period, that equates to 4.38 cars per hour which is not the best understanding of the data. So, when you look at the busiest period

between 8am and 6pm results indicates 88 cars a day during this period or 8 cars per hour or 1 car per 7-8 minutes. So, the data indicates there is not a lot of vehicles on that section of road.

Q: Does it give the number of vehicles speeding?

R: Yes. So, the average speed is 40 km per hour. There is speeding but it is in the minority. The highest speed over the 90 days was 76.7km per hour which quite fast in a 50km zone and that was at 6pm. But the ‘mean’ speed is 40km per hour.

Note: Mean speed refers to the average speed of all objects in a given set, while average speed refers to the total distance travelled divided by the total time taken. In other words, mean speed takes into account the speed of each individual object, while average speed is more of an overall measure.

Q: What is the percentage of the 105 going over 50km per hour?

R: I don’t have the answer at present, but I will calculate the answer from the data.

Q: Where the traffic counter was placed was right on the edge of the playground next to the hotel and everyone has already slowed down by then. It’s between the old catholic church and the start of the playground where most of the speeding starts, so I suggest the traffic counter be placed half a kilometre back further - I would suggest the data would be different if placed there.

Q: They have had counters there in the last 5 years. I live in the area and believe everyone is speeding but when the counters were in place, the results are not as bad as I thought.

R: Just a note to the issue of the speeding. That is a road traffic infringement. I have spoken to the local Police Sergeant and he is aware of speeding in this area. He said he would like to work with the Shire on a strategy to manage this problem. It will be real helpful to listen to his ideas. But yes, I agree it all depends on where the traffic counters are placed to get overall correct information relative to the area and to decipher it, to achieve a sufficient and effective action plan. I have printed of copy of different traffic calming strategies, so our actions are proportional to problem.

The list of some options:

  • Narrowing of the street – to make the driver feel they need to slow down; plant trees down the side of the road, nib to protrude from the side of the road,
  • Speed bumps - which are a very rudimentary solution and can be a major issue for people living along the
  • Mini Roundabouts or chicanes – but you need to meet community expectations and this treatment can have the opposite effect to what is expected, and increase speeding rather than

Q: Can we put in flashing lights, ‘children ahead’ signs or something like that? Q: They are about $5,000 to install.

Q: They would be cheaper than the other options and can be moved around the community. R: These are all the options we can consider.

Q: With regard to the kids issue - as a parent the children are gone across the street to the playground from the pub before you can notice as they can climb a gate and run across the street. Is possible to install zebra crossing so to alert drivers.

R: These types of crossing are controlled by Main Roads WA and they are not keen at installing them. Before they would consider this option that would have to tick of a few criteria and traffic volume would be one of them and I believe we would not meet the volume of vehicle required.

Q: What about street lighting:

R: You would have to look at this option from a holistic point of view e.g. lights shining into other houses.

Another thing to take into consideration with traffic safety is sometimes through traffic isn’t as

dangerous as outside traffic e.g. reversing.

Another option for traffic calming is the placement of traffic pillows or enlarged speed humps. Although these can be effective for traffic calming, this can lead to inappropriate driver usage eg drivers trying to straddle them or worse still, avoiding them by mounting the kerb to avoid using them.

Q: This is a little off topic but is the Shire still planning on extending the path to the side of Godfrey Gardens, because that will increase foot traffic in the Jaekel St area.

R: I am unaware as to councils’ decision on this issue.

R: Returning to the issue of traffic calming, there is also the option of a Traffic Table similar to the one placed in York St in Albany. This can be placed at either end of the area required for speed safety, however this option is very costly.

Q: I don’t know the general view of everyone else, but to me the problem is Jaekel St. Drivers come into town, approach the corner rather quickly and this regulates the speed at which they are travelling.

Q: The speeding on Lamont Street is just people leaving the pub going straight to the highway. Q: I know it’s a Main Road WA issue but can the speed limit signs be moved closer to town.

R: That is something the Shire can approach Main Roads WA about.

Q: Can they do the same as the approach to Williams? Eg. 110 kms to 50 kms. R: That has been done after a change to the regulations.

Q: Drivers are better behaved in Williams due to local police being very active on speeding motorists.

Q: I know when we did the parking in Gnowangerup on the main street the community was very keen to see a big fence around it to keep the kids in and safe. But the safety experts the Shire had at the time, stated that this gives a false sense of security, and that kids can climb the fence anyway. It is very difficult to get what you are trying to achieve. It’s more about getting people to change their behaviour.

R: That is why I mentioned I will be talking to the Police about this issue and come up with a strategy on how to approach the community concerns. I know the Police Sargeant is keen to assist, but this will also depend on the local police resources available.

Q: Could I suggest that proceeds from the Community Centre go toward funding a traffic treatment?

R: The Shire has community grants each year from $5,000 to $20,000, that the Ongerup Community could apply to Council for funding.

Q: I believe this should be a Shire Project not a Community Project as the work is within the Road reserve.

Q: Could the shire install bright yellow lights next to the playground to mark the crossing point, so motorists are aware that it is a crossing point. Whose responsibility it that?

R: That would be Western Power. The Shire pay for the lighting and Western Power maintains the lighting. If a new light is installed this would be done by Western Power and the Shire charge for the cost and ongoing power cost.

Q: That will emphasize that people could be crossing there. R: We will have a look at the location.

Q: Painting the road surface - not just a zebra crossing - so people know it is a shared zone.

R: Yes, you can, but this must be based on regulations regarding what line marking can be installed and who is authorised for the installation.

Q: Some signage that our kids play here would be helpful. R: Yes, they can be quite good.

Q: There is one ‘children’ sign just before the playground, but this is partly hidden behind the trees, but no signage when leaving the pub and going out of town. So can the Shire rectify that issue?

R: A strategy could involve a number of options from signage, lighting or mixture of other ideas we have talked about.


It seems to me from the questions you have been asking, the issue is not only traffic around Jaekel St, but speed around the local area and several different streets and certain sections of the streets in general. It is rather a complex issue with no small answer, but all we can do is put forward some ideas of how we can surmount these concerns. I will need to return to the community with some proposals and take these to council to ascertain how council would choose to progress with these possible options.


Q: Can the streetlight on the corner be fixed or a light placed on the side of the hall. As the footpath is hard to see at night. I now must walk on the road at night.

R: Is there an existing light that is not working or is there no lighting here?

Q: I don’t believe there is any light outside the hall, but the streetlight has not been working for a year or so.

R: There are many lighting options now like solar bollard to light up dark patches that the main streetlights don’t illuminate adequately.

Q: Is that Main Roads or Shire control?

R: It depends on the location it is placed, but the Shire will arrange a night survey of street lighting to check lighting concerns.

Q: Will the Shire be applying Softfall to the Weir Park Playground?

R: The Shire has just renewed the synthetic Softfall at the Gnowangerup Community Park at a cost over $110,000 for an expected life of 10 -15 years. Sand is a lot cheaper to install but higher for weekly maintenance to make sure the sand is clear of items that may injure kids or people using the play equipment. Looking at the life of both products sand is cheaper to maintain and more sustainable.

Q: I understand that, but about a month ago I was down at Weir Park and picked up two broken stubbies, half buried in the sand.

R: This issue really boils down to the Shire staff undertaking regular maintenance of playgrounds and raking the sand to clear these objects. This includes programmed playground inspection. This problem also exists on synthetic surfaces with people smashing bottles around playground equipment and the need for staff to undertake regular inspections to remove the glass. It is trying to get a balance between the level of service, cost and community expectation.

The Shire tries to do its best to maintain the parks and reduce harm for children using the community parks, but I still believe sand is the best option with a 300m level of sand soft fall, rather than rubber. It has been shown that sand does a better job than rubber and is also much more forgiving.

Q: The glass is easier to see on the Softfall than in the sand.

R: Again, if you see something unto wards, inform the shire so we can action it. If something simple like rubbish is on the ground pick it up and place in a bin, or if it requires more attention let the shire know.

Q: When will the Shire put the gates on the park?

Q : This a community project and should be completed soon. Q: One of the Softfall retaining pipe corners is broken.

Q: The Shire has ordered the part from the local store and there is a delay of 3-4 months in getting the large pipe fitting here, but it has arrived now.

R: Shire staff will arrange repairs as soon as possible.

Q: Sporting Complexes are the local Community Emergency Evacuation Sites. In an emergency if the power goes out there will be no power to operate these centres. Is this something on Council’s long term plan to resolve?

R: Currently council is still reviewing options for all it Emergency Centres. The centres are mainly used as a short-term use of 24 hours. But having power in summer at Ongerup Sports Complex is crucial for cooling and running fridges and water from a pressure pump to support people for the 24 hour period, until relocated. Emergency Funding Grants have since closed for this round of funding, but we can apply for the next round of Emergency Funding Grants. The main issue is the installation of generator connection points at these centres. In the previous round we applied for a mobile generator so it could be used at any of the Evacuation Centres if required. So, we will look at a possible 2024/25 budget inclusion for a mobile generator connection point at both Ongerup and Borden Sporting Complexes.

Q: Can a generator be included in the new Ongerup Fire Station?

Q: This has been raised at the last Bushfire Brigade meeting and DFES does have Grants for this type of equipment.

R: The current LGGS (DFES ) funding for Bushfire Brigades and SES has closed but we can look at applying for the next round after the new Fire Station is completed.

R: St John Ambulance is looking at relocating next to the new Fire Station subject to their own funding or community funding as they are not funded by DFES being a private organization.

Q: Has the Shire got any proposal for the existing Ongerup Fire Station. Is that shire land and a shire building?

R: The Property is partly on a Road Reserve and Crown land. Council has not made a decision regarding this property. The building may have asbestos material in the building materials. It is difficult to change this title to private property, in order for the Shire to sell. The option may be to demolish the building and leave the property vacant. But again, the Council have not made a decision on the property.

Q: The property belongs to St John Ambulance. The simplest way would be to remove the fire shed that straddles the property boundary, prior to sale.

Q: Is there anything happening with the old Catholic Church complex on Jaekel Street.

R: It is not a Shire property and belongs to the Catholic Diocese of Bunbury who are keen to sell. I don’t believe the Council is looking at purchasing the property. So this question would be best to put to the Catholic Diocese of Bunbury.

Some general discussion of the sale of the old Catholic Diocese property before the meeting Closed.

End of Meeting 5:47 pm

Twelve people were recorded at the meeting excluding the Chair and Exec Manager of Asset and Infrastructure.

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