Annual Reflections: CEO

Published on Thursday, 5 January 2023 at 9:35:17 AM

The following message from Shire of Dardanup CEO André Schönfeldt  is provided in the opening pages of the 2021/22 Annual Report adopted by Council in December:

Financial Position:  I would like to acknowledge that this year we have once again received an unqualified audit, and the audit report again indicates that Council’s financial management and governance practices throughout the organisation, are of a very high standard.

We did grapple with hyperinflation brought on by Covid supply chain issues, contractor availability and the impacts of the Russian – Ukrainian war, however stimulus funding and specific grants sought by the Shire brought some relief to ratepayers in delivering on our infrastructure and facility needs.

While CPI (Perth-All Groups) was around 7.4% for 21/22, we were able to keep our rate increase to our long term financial plan forecast of 4% for the coming year. We continue to look for ways in which to stretch our ratepayers’ dollar further in delivering services and facilities for our community.

Covid Impacts:  As with every other business and organisation in WA, the impact of Covid on our operations during 21/22 was significant. During May, 48 per cent of our permanent workforce was on leave because they were either sick or isolating as a close contact. In the lead-up to this period, significant staff resources were required to be diverted towards Covid-related business impacts including reporting requirements around mandatory vaccinations and ensuring our assets and services were compliant with changing State Government health directives.

All the while doing our best to maintain access for the community to our facilities, events and programs that would support community wellbeing like the Eaton Recreation Centre and Libraries.

Delivering the Economic Stimulus funding from the Federal Government created fantastic opportunities to deliver 21 community infrastructure projects far sooner than would have otherwise been the case. All 21 brought-forward projects needed to be scoped, designed and constructed within a period that would normally be allocated just for the scoping.

It was a tall order. Especially on top of the workload we had already committed to under Council’s 2021/22 Budget. In a monumental team effort, $1,647,543 of Local Roads & Community Infrastructure grant funding provided for delivery of a series of pathway extensions and upgrades in Eaton and Dardanup along with drainage improvements to Russell Road in Burekup.

The total value of these additional infrastructure works brought forward was $5,475,380.

Creating Partnerships and Delivering New Facilities: During 21/22 we also created some new strategic partnerships and opened new facilities including:

  • A fantastic new partnership with Tronox on delivery of our annual Tronox Spring Out Festival;
  • A new partnership with Lotterywest for delivery of our popular Summer in Your Park series of events;
  • Opening of the new $3.6 million Eaton Bowling & Social Club & Senior Citizen’s Centre;
  • Opening of the new Dardanup Centrals and Waterloo Volunteer Bushfire Brigade Buildings; and
  • Hosting of a statewide Emergency Management Conference offered to guests both live and online with expert presenters contributing from across Australia.

Place and Topic Based Advisory Groups: Council’s series of Place-Based Advisory Groups – established in 2019 under a new Community Engagement Policy – have been meeting throughout 2021/22 and providing important input on various projects and decision-making.

Over the past two years the Eaton, Burekup, Dardanup and Ferguson Valley Place based advisory groups have reviewed and provided input on Community Facilities Plans for each of their respective areas which set out short, medium and longer term priorities.

During the same period the Topic Based Advisory groups assisted in the development and endorsement of the Sport and Recreation Plan, the Place and Community Plan, as well as the Public Health Plan.

I therefore present our 2021/22 Annual Report for your consideration with a great deal of pride and anticipation for another exciting year ahead.

You can read the full Annual Report HERE.


The Shire of Dardanup’s Annual Report 2021/22 will be presented to an Annual Elector’s Meeting being held at the Shire’s Administration Centre – Eaton on Wednesday, 25 January at 6.00pm.

Members of the public are invited to attend and are asked to submit questions or motions relating to the report in writing prior to the meeting.

The Annual Report, as well as providing important data on Council’s financial position, is an insight into activity undertaken by the Shire of Dardanup on behalf of its community during the past financial year.

Hard copies of the Annual Report 2021/22 are available for viewing at the Administration Centre – Eaton, Eaton Community Library and Dardanup Library.

(Please note our offices and libraries are currently closed for the festive period and will re-open on Monday, 9 January, 2023.)

The meeting is also an opportunity for community members to put forward their ideas to elected members.

Questions or motions from the public should be provided, where possible, in writing and received at the Shire Office no later than 4pm, Friday, January 24, 2020.

Post: PO Box 7016, Eaton, WA, 6232.


Members of the community and not-for-profit community groups are invited to make budget funding submissions for consideration by Council in the Shire of Dardanup’s annual budget planning process.

Submissions are to be received no later than 4pm on 17 February 2023.

Any submissions received after 17 February 2023 may not be considered until the following year’s budget considerations.

Please forward written submissions to the Chief Executive Officer, Shire of Dardanup – Administration Centre Eaton, 1 Council Drive, Eaton  WA  6232; or the Dardanup Office, 3 Little Street, Dardanup. Submissions can also be made via email to

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