Council Services / Community

Waratah Wynyard Council - Community Board

The Waratah Wynyard Council area stretches from Wynyard on the North West Coast, deep into the wilderness of Cradle Mountain and the West Coast, reaching towards the West Coast itself at Corinna. The area contains many different urban and natural environments and different communities.

The town of Waratah, located between Savage River and Cradle Mountain, has a rich cultural identity, with mining and hydroelectric industries playing a big role in the region’s fortunes and character. Research commissioned by the council indicates there is “exceptional” tourism potential in Waratah from the long history and beautiful nature assets.

The ‘Sustainable Murchison 2040 Community Plan’ – describes the connection of smaller and remote communities, like Waratah, to various nodes and service centres, is a vital part of regional planning. The Murchison Plan acknowledges towns are part of regions and that the borders of one council area, shouldn’t constrain its planning and thinking.

The Waratah-Wynyard Council consulted the Waratah Community

Waratah's unique sense of identity, and its lack of formal engagement with Council, was preventing the town from capitalising  on its tourism potential in a planned way. To harness Waratah’s sense of identity and develop it into a   strategic force, the Council engaged community consultation experts late in 2017.

The consultants Hammond Robertson, recommended creating a Community Board structure for the people of  Waratah - a  strategy the consultants had successfully employed in similar communities in New Zealand but which was as yet untried in   Australia. 

 Together with the council the Waratah Community Board’s aim is:

 a)      The achievement of Waratah Community Plan 2018-21

 b)      Developing and delivering on community priorities 

 c)      Local and representative leadership for the Waratah community

 d)      Effective engagement with the local community and organisations

 e)      Liaison with and advice to Council and other relevant authorities.

The process of engaging Waratah in branding, marketing, planning and implementing potential developments, is likely to require cultural change on both sides, compromise and cooperation to work on common goals. The people of Waratah have responded well to the opportunity. Also, the Council is committed to making the arrangements work and is managing potential risks like - unrealistic budgets expectations, and working cooperatively with the Community Board to achieve outcomes from the Community Plan. The consultants will continue to work with the   Community and Council to ensure success  from this approach through  training in engagement skills for council staff and the Waratah community.

The amount of good will, and the renewed focus on the goal of appropriate developments for the Waratah community, looks sure to deliver great results in another community-council partnership.