People in Anakie, Sapphire and Rubyvale are invited to take an active part in a project to resolve addressing problems commonly experienced in the area.
Central Highlands Regional Council’s Gemfields bounded locality project seeks to investigate a possible dissolution and redefinition of the locality.
Mayor Hayes said it is a lengthy process and council is committed to support the community and advocate for a solution, but it won’t happen without community involvement.
‘It’s a complex process and success hinges on demonstrating evidence of peoples’ support and engagement to achieve approval from the state government,’ Mayor Hayes said.
‘Therefore, I strongly encourage anyone with interest in this case to get involved by attending engagement events and contributing feedback and suggestions.
‘It’s important to get this right to achieve the best outcome for people in Anakie, Sapphire and Rubyvale.’
Mayor Hayes said the long-standing issues related to addressing in the area were brought to council’s attention by community members who are actively involved in the project.
‘More than 20 years ago, the towns of Anakie, Sapphire and Rubyvale we now refer to as the Sapphire Gemfields were grouped together or bounded under the name of the Gemfields,’ Mayor Hayes said.
‘The bounding was part of a national agenda to define areas for wayfinding purposes and technology developments like geocoding and GPS.
‘It’s believed there was also a connection to mobile phone infrastructure established at the time.
‘Since then, people living in and visiting the area have experienced problems such as errors in mail delivery and freight, difficulties to locate call-out sites experienced by emergency services and wayfinding challenges when travelling.’
For some people, the bounding of localities has resulted in a loss of individuality when it comes to the history and culture of the towns.
Rubyvale Gem Gallery owner Peter Brown said to be branded under a single banner causes the loss of individual stories and histories which locals have tried hard to maintain.
Ewen Letts of the Blue Gem Caravan Park at Sapphire said he believes the address anomalies also cause financial loss and significant stress.
Community engagement meetings will be held at Anakie Hall on 15 April 2019 at 5.30 pm and at Sapphire Hall on 17 April 2019 at 5.30 pm.
Community members, representatives from emergency services and Australia Post are invited to attend.
Residents of the Fairbairn Dam community will also be affected by this project and are asked to register their interest by contacting council or attending the community engagement meetings.
For further information click here, call 1300 242 686 or visit your local council customer service centre.