Shire of Plantagenet
|Shire of Plantagenet
|Population||5,116 (2011 est)|
|• Density||1.06761/km2 (2.7651/sq mi)|
|Area||4,792 km2 (1,850.2 sq mi)|
|Mayor||Cr Ken Clements|
|Council seat||Mount Barker|
The Shire of Plantagenet is a local government area in the Great Southern region of Western Australia, managed from the town of Mount Barker, 360 kilometres (224 mi) south of Perth and 50 kilometres (31 mi) north of Albany. The shire covers an area of 4,792 square kilometres (1,850 sq mi) and includes the communities of Narrikup, Rocky Gully, Kendenup and Porongurup.
The region is noted for agriculture, principally wheat, sheep (wool and meat), beef cattle, wine, canola and olives. Silviculture, especially plantations of Tasmanian Blue Gums (Eucalyptus globulus), is fast becoming a major industry in the shire although some recent silverculture enterprises (Great Southern Plantations and Timbercorp) have proven to be poorly managed, falling into receivership. There is a lot of uncertainty as to this industry. Local tourist attractions include the Porongurup Range and Stirling Range, a packed-out museum based within the original police station, and other pioneering structures such as St Werburghs Chapel.
The Plantagenet Road Board was gazetted on 24 January 1871 as one of 18 elected boards to manage roads and services in Western Australia, and initially included a reasonably large section of the Great Southern region. On 1 July 1961, it became the Shire of Plantagenet following the enactment of the Local Government Act.
The Shire was redivided into five wards in 2001. The shire president is elected from amongst the councillors.
- East Ward (two councillors)
- Kendenup Ward (one councillor)
- Rocky Gully/West Ward (two councillors)
- South Ward (one councillor)
- Town Ward (three councillors)
The shire has ownership and responsibility of the Great Southern Saleyards, a state-of-the-art facility that was built following the closure of the Mount Barker Saleyards and the Albany Town Saleyards, and joint development by both councils around 2002. Due to cost issues, the City of Albany sought to dispose of its share of the facility, and an agreement was made to transfer full ownership and responsibility to the Shire of Plantagenet.
The Mount Barker Power Company Pty Ltd has constructed slightly to the north of the township a three Enercon turbine 73m high windfarm costing $8.3 million. The turbines are on private land and this development is a private energy generation selling power into the state grid. The windfarm is one of the very few to have been completed to service a local community's power needs since the State of Western Australia set a renewable energy target. The site is on private property and is projected to generate about 8,400 megawatt hours of electricity each year from three 800 kilowatt turbines.
- "3218.0 Regional Population Growth, Australia. Table 5. Estimated Resident Population, Local Government Areas, Western Australia". 30 March 2012. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
- <http://plantagenet.wa.gov.au/ Shire of Plantagenet Homepage>
- WA Electoral Commission, Municipality Boundary Amendments Register (release 2.0), 31 May 2003.