Kids Corner

Shire of Cunderdin locationThe Shire of Cunderdin is located in the Wheatbelt Region of Western Australia.

The towns in the Shire of Cunderdin are Cunderdin and Meckering.

History Lesson

The Shire of Cunderdin was formed on in 1894 but was known then as the Meckering Road Board. It changed its name to the Shire of Cunderdin in 1944.

Why Cunderdin?

The Name Cunderdin comes from the Njungar Aboriginal language and is said to mean ‘place of the bandicoot’ but according to another source translates as ‘place of many flowers’

Why Meckering?

The town of Meckering was once called ‘Beeberring’ but the name was changed to Meckering – also derived from an Aboriginal language it means ‘place of water’ or ‘moon on water’ depending upon the translation.

Our Logo

Shire of Cunderdin logoA logo is a pictorial representation that businesses and organisations use for people to recognise them by. The Shire of Cunderdin’s logo contains a number of images that reflect life our area. There is a sheep and a sheath of wheat – both important parts of our agriculture industry. You can also see Pumphouse No3 at the centre of the logo and this has been included because it was an integral part of our area’s history. The Pumphouse was used as part of the Goldfields Water Supply (today known as the Golden Pipeline) which carries water from Mundaring to Kalgoorlie and services all the towns in between. Today, thanks to advances in technology, the Pumphouse isn’t needed to move the water along and it is now home to the Cunderdin Museum.

Government In Australia

Australia has 3 levels of Government. They include:

Federal Government

This level of Government decides on matters that affect the whole of Australia.

State Government

This level of Government is responsible for Education, Main Roads, Railways and Public Housing with a State.

Local Government

This level of Government is much closer to the people and looks after matters affecting the local community such as building and maintaining roads, footpaths, bridges and parks, making laws to do with building and health, and providing services that the citizens want like swimming pools and libraries.

Why Is This Local Government A Shire And Not A City Or Town?

A local Government district can only be called a “City” if the district is in the metropolitan area and has more than 30,000 people that live in the urban area or if the district is not in the Metropolitan area it must have more than 20,000 people and that more than half live in the urban area.

A Local Government district can only be called a “town” if more than half of its people live in the urban area.

A Local Government district that does meet the above requirements for a City or Town is called a Shire.

The Council

The Council consists of 7 Councillors and 1 President.

The duty of the Council is to listen to the problems and ideas of the people and try to give them the kind of community they want.

Councillors are chosen by the people who vote for them at Council Elections.

How Do You Get To Be A Councillor?

First you must be nominated by someone to stand for election in the Cunderdin Council Elections. You may even nominate yourself!

Local Government Elections

On the first Saturday in May every 2nd year Cunderdin Council Elections are held. The people who live in district elect men or women to represent them on the Council. Those elected will serve on the Council for 4 years.

The President

The President is chief of the Council and presides over Council meetings. In some communities the President is chosen by the people but in the SHIRE OF CUNDERDIN he or she is elected by the Councillors and remains President for 4 years.

How The Council Works

After the elections the new President and Councillors are sworn in and some of them are appointed to various committees to advise and discuss community matters before they are presented to the whole Council for a decision.

All information on matters that are brought before the Council is gathered by the Council Support Staff and presented to them in the form of an AGENDA.

The Councillors then discuss, debate and make a final decision. Decisions are reached by a majority vote of all the Councillors. These decisions are known as COUNCIL RESOLUTIONS.

The Council meets in the Council meeting rooms at the SHIRE OF CUNDERDIN Administration Offices every second month: on the first Wednesday. These meetings are open to the public.

Council Support Staff

These are the people employed by the Council to advise and to carry out work the Councillors decide should be done.

They are not elected but appointed and are paid for the work they do.

Councillors are not paid a wage, but do receive money for attending Council meetings.

Like every large business or company there has to be someone at the top that will make day-to-day decisions.

In LOCAL GOVERNMENT this job is done by -

The Chief Executive Officer

There are several other Officers employed by Council, that all help to look after the Council, and it is their job to keep the Chief Executive Officer informed of work going on in their departments.

In turn the Chief Executive Officer sees that jobs are being done well and efficiently and money is not being wasted and ensures that COUNCIL RESOLUTIONS are carried out.

He is chief adviser to the Council

Council’s Money

The Council handles large amounts of money – millions of dollars each year!

So where does the Shire’s money come from?

Rates

All land and property owners within the Shire of Cunderdin pay rates. These help the Shire undertake work to maintain and upgrade the town’s services.

Government Grants

A Grant is a sum of money given to LOCAL GOVERNMENT by the STATE or FEDERAL GOVERNMENT for special projects such as building bitumen sealed community roads.

What The Shire Of Cunderdin Does With This Money

The Shire spends a large portion of its money on building and maintaining roads both bitumen and gravel.

What Else The Shire Responsible For?

The Shire provides a range of services for residents. These include:

Building Services

In this Department the staff are called Building Surveyors. They make sure that the Building Regulations are obeyed.

To understand how the Building Department works let's look at a typical house building project -

The builder submits to the Council 2 copies of the house plans. One is kept as a record and the other is returned to the builder along with a LICENCE, which allows him to start building.

Before he is given a licence the plans have to be checked against the Building Regulations to make sure that everything is all right.

When the builder is building the house the Surveyors make regular visits to check that the right building materials and methods of construction are being used, and that the builder is following the approved plans.

Waste Services

Every day all the homes, shops, workshops AND schools in the Shire of Cunderdin gather heaps and heaps of rubbish.

What do we do with it?

Rubbish is collected from homes each week and taken away to a landfill tip. Rubbish that can be recycled is placed in the special recycling bins and taken away to be used again. Because we produce so much rubbish it’s very important we recycle any materials we can so we don’t send so much to landfill.

Sports fields

The Shire of Cunderdin looks after a number of sporting fields and facilities in Cunderdin and Meckering. The town oval, the swimming pool, the tennis courts, bowling greens and golf course are all maintained by Shire staff.

Streets & Parks

The Shire workers make sure our streets, parks and Shire gardens look neat and presentable. They also plant trees along the roads to make our town look better.

Health Services

The people who work in the Health Department are called Environmental Health Officers. This doesn't mean they are concerned with trees and wildlife, but with the many things in our environment that are bad for our health and could make us ill, pests, such as mosquitoes and rats and even excessive noise!

The Environmental Health Officer monitors and controls all these things.

Keeping us Healthy!

Pests and Diseases

If there are any outbreaks of food poisoning or other diseases the Health Department is notified by Doctors or the Hospital. The problem is investigated by Environmental Health Officers to prevent the disease from spreading through the community.

If you would like to know more about local government or this Council please contact us.